Vehicle smuggling increase in West Africa

West Africa is struggling to combat the unmatched increase in cross-border vehicle smuggling.

Deputy Commissioner of Customs in charge of Operations, Yakubu Seidu, disclosed this on Friday at an advocacy and sensitization workshop concerning free movements across West Africa, a programme organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration in collaboration with ECOWAS and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) for the youth.

The workshop held in Accra sought to, among other things, raise awareness among the youth on ECOWAS protocol on the free movement which started in 1979.

According to him, many vehicles, for instance, were smuggled from Nigeria to Ghana.

He said security agencies were struggling to verify number plates from different countries in the region to aid in the arrest of the smugglers.

He noted that, henceforth, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) shall cooperate with its counterparts across the sub-regions to counter vehicle smuggling.

He noted that security agencies in the ECOWAS region were integrating to combat cross-border crimes.

The deputy commissioner also mentioned armed robbery, narcotic drug trafficking and some others as vices that were on the ascendancy.

He warned the youth to resist the temptation of assisting criminals in perpetrating their activities.

He advised them to always verify ownership of vehicles with foreign plates with DVLA before driving or buying them, as well as travelling with the required travel documents across the sub-region.

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