FOU Customs Records N4.7bn Seizures in One Year

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Eromosele Abiodun

The Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘C’ Owerri has said that it recorded a giant stride in its anti-smuggling activities with the seizure of a total of 307 contrabands worth N4.756 billion in the 2016 financial year.
The Controller of the FOU, Comptroller Mohammed Uba made this known in an annual report for the year 2016.

He said the above figure is a combination of both the Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N3.985 billion and an underpayment recovered as revenue of N770.34 million
Uba added that the unit, which has since driven many smugglers out of their illicit businesses consequent upon its sustained aggressive onslaught against smuggling, arrested a total of 234 suspects while 24 cases are still pending in court in connection with the seizures.

According to him, “breakdown of the prohibited items seized include: 169 motor vehicles with a DPV of N1.013 billion; 2,725 cartons of narcotics (Indian hemp/hard drugs) with a DPV of N366,835,000.00 and 1,759 pairs, 85 cartons and 68 sacks/bales of foot wears with a DPV of N28,234,060.00.

“Others are: 7,795 soap/detergents/toiletries with a DPV of N58,889,181; 107,006 cartons of imported frozen poultry products with a DPV of N1,402,086,836.00; 1,018 pieces and 561 bales of bags/suitcases which had a DPV of N134,964,320.00 in addition to 5,794 rethread and used pneumatic tyres bearing a DPV of N97,597,620.00.

“The rest are: 50 cartons and 147 pieces of beverages/confectionary/juices with a DPV of N3,248,570.00; 14,006 bags of rice which has a DPV of N447,850,240.00; 2,333 cartons and 1,598 pieces of furniture and parts thereof with a DPV of N173,048,334.00 and 273 cartons of 2 litres of vegetable oil with a DPV of N9,801,000.00.”

The unit, he added, also seized 1,089 pieces of machinery/mechanical appliances/parts, “which had a DPV of N7,837,498.00 as well as 2,484 electrical/electronics/parts whose DPV stood at N3,886,600 and 951 bales, 470 cartons and 18 sacks of other goods with DPV of N239,441,283.00 as among other seizures made within the year.”

This, he said, was in contrast to the total seizure made in the preceding year (2015) amounted to N2,839,404,837 comprising a DPV of N2,709,807,437.00 and an underpayment recovered of N129,597,400.00.

The comptroller said that the FOU zone ‘C’ would continue to strategize and re-strategize to bring smugglers, their agents and collaborators to their knees.
He regretted that the federal government had continued to lose huge revenue as a result of the unpatriotic activities of smugglers who are poised to acquire wealth through the short cut, and warned such individuals to desist forthwith in their own interest.

He also advised Nigerians not to use the global economic down turn as an excuse to ruin themselves and their families as the NCS would not entertain any sacred cow in its determination to make smuggling a thing of the past in the country.
Uba advised the youths to always preoccupy themselves with ideas and visions that could assist them realise their potentials as leaders of tomorrow instead of indulging in acts and conducts capable of impeding their success in life.

He, however, advised Nigerians who are into genuine and legitimate business of buying and selling not to entertain any fear as the NCS would continue to be guided by the cardinal principle of justice, equity and fairness devoid of victimization or oppression in the discharge of her duties.