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WCO holds webinars to improve Customs’ awareness of COVID-19 medicines

The World Customs Organisation(WCO), on 16th and 17th, December 2021, successfully held its 7th series of webinars aimed at improving Customs administrations’ awareness of counterfeit COVID-19-related goods.

This latest series of webinars were designed to provide Customs with knowledge of the essential characteristics and specifications of Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) COVID-19 medicines.

The knowledge gained will ensure that Customs administrations are better equipped to identify trafficking in genuine and counterfeit COVID-19 medicines.

This series of webinars, conducted in five languages, brought together some 170 Customs officials from 42 countries in the WCO’s six regions: Americas and the Caribbean; Asia/Pacific; Europe; East and Southern Africa; North of Africa, Near and the Middle East; and West and Central Africa.

During the opening ceremony, the WCO Secretariat highlighted the fact that Customs constituted the first line of defence at Members’ borders by seizing counterfeit goods and thus protecting citizens’ health and safety.

Customs also helped facilitate the trade in genuine medicines and, to that end, cooperation with right holders was essential.

Ms. Karen Bresard, Executive Director, Regional Security – EMEA – at MSD, said that MSD would enhance cooperation with Customs by providing Customs officers with information on distribution channels for new medicines.

Mr. Hamaguchi, Director for International Technical Cooperation of the Customs and Tariff Bureau – Ministry of Finance of Japan, indicated that Japan Customs would contribute financial and human resources in support of the WCO’s COVID-19-related initiatives.

The participants asked a lot of questions during each of the webinars and actively exchanged views in order to gain an understanding of the new medicines presented by MSD.

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Customs warns job seekers of activities of internet fraudsters

CGC, Ali
— says recruitment portal is closed.

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has warned the public against the activities of internet fraudsters extorting innocent individuals seeking employment into the service.

NCS Public Relations Officer, Comptroller Joseph Attah, gave the warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.

Attah noted that the service recruitment platform was opened for two weeks in December 2021, and had closed.

He said the mandatory six months basic training for the successfully enlisted candidates into the service commenced on Jan. 10.

“Anywhere you see any link saying you should pay any amount for NCS recruitment/training programme, it is not from the customs.

“All those who claim they paid certain amounts of money for the training programme are all victims of “419” otherwise known as fraudsters because our link was opened for two weeks and has been closed.”

He said the service would continue to sensitise the public on such acts, to discourage people from patronising such fraudsters.

“Internet fraudsters are everywhere. Immediately you advertise for job recruitment in an organisation, these people will go and create a link with the purpose of extorting their victims.

“Why would somebody give you a private account to pay a certain amount of money into, for a recruitment or training programme and you will pay into that account. People should be wise and flee from such,” he advised.

Some of the victims of the NCS recruitment scam said that they were fleeced by the fraudsters, who asked them to pay N40, 000 for the exercise.

One of the female victims, who preferred to be anonymous, stated that she paid N40,000 to a private account for the exercise.

It could be recalled that Attah had announced in a statement on Dec. 30, that the six months basic training for the enlisted candidates into the service would commence on Jan. 10, in its training colleges in Kano and Lagos.

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