The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Tuesday announced the seizure of 37 assorted vehicles, 12,081 bags of smuggled parboiled rice and other contraband with a duty paid value of N1.611 billion.Comptroller General of the NCS, Col Hameed Ali (rtd.), who disclosed this in a chat with newsmen in Lagos said the goods were seized between 2nd and 3rd of this month by the CGC compliance team and the roving team of the Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A.
Armed with credible information, he said the team trailed and evacuated the 37 assorted vehicles smuggled into the country through unapproved routes.
The smuggled vehicles, he added, included eight Lexus Jeep LX570 (2017), 12 Land Cruiser Jeep (2017), 17 Toyota Hilux (2016, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009 respectively).
For the general goods, he said four persons were in detention while two others were in detention for the vehicles smuggled into the country.
According to him, â€œApart from the seizure of vehicles and rice, the reinvigorated anti-smuggling operations yielded another 156 assorted seizure including bales of used clothing, Indian hemp and used tyres. For the avoidance of doubt, the federal government policies banning the importation of rice and vehicles through the land borders are still in force. Nigeria Customs Service remains resolute in its determination to enforce these policies. NCS will continue to work towards crippling smugglers and getting them out of the illegitimate business.â€
He added: â€œIn the face of security and economic challenges, no responsible government will fold its hands while unpatriotic elements continue to engage in illegal activities that will further compromise national economic and security well-being of her people. The NCS as one of the enforcement agencies of government will continue to work towards ensuring compliance with all extant laws governing imports and exports in Nigeria.
â€œFor those who use violence as an instrument of intimidation, let it be known that going forward, the NCS operatives will not hesitate to use appropriate force to deal with any threat that is intended to obstruct the performance of its statutory functions. I commend the comptroller FOU, Zone A and Comptroller in charge of the compliance team for effective collaboration and co-ordination of their officers to achieve this feat.â€