Customs Seizes 10 Trailer Loads of Rice, Realises N1.3bn in October

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Eromosele Abiodun

The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone A has announced that it intercepted various contraband with a duty paid value of N1,353,617,104.08 between 4th to 31st of October, 2017.

This is just as the unit disclosed that it seized items including 6,206 bags of foreign parboiled rice of 50kg each, which is more than 10 trailer load of rice, 67 bales of second-hand clothing, 600 cartons of foreign poultry products, 13 parcels of Indian Hemp, 405 pieces of used tyres, and 54 kegs of foreign vegetable oil.

Speaking at a press briefing in Lagos, the Controller, FOU, Mohammed Uba explained that two containers were also seized for contravening Customs law.

“While one of the containers carried used fridges, 270 cartons of refined sun flower oil, 55 pieces of used gas compressors, 18 packs of juice and other assorted items as against cooking gas declared in the SGD, the other container was carrying 147 bales of printed wax and 168 bales of lace material as against new electronics declared in the SGD.

“Also, based on intelligence, our operatives trailed and evacuated 59 assorted vehicles from car marts in Ikoyi, among which over 40 are 2017 models ranging from Toyota Prado jeeps, Lexus jeeps, Toyota Hilux, Toyota Camry, Coaster bus, Toyota Hiace bus among others currently under detention, awaiting relevant Customs document from the dealers within a grace period of one month. These vehicles alone have a duty paid value of N1.076 billion only, “he said.

He added, “It is instructive to note that a total of 6 suspects have been arrested relating to this 120 seizures. The Indian Hemp will be handed over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for further action.
“Accordingly, the Unit through interventions recovered N144,433,524 from duty payment and demand notices on general goods that tried to circumvent the law at seaports, airports and border stations through wrong declaration, transfer of value, underpayment of duty accruable to the Federal Government of Nigeria within the weeks under review.

“Let me use this medium to appreciate the robust synergy that exists among the Military, Police, and other security agencies with our operatives. Smuggling is a global phenomenon which can only be brought to it barest minimum if all hands are on deck. My preoccupation remains to degrade the activities of smugglers through aggressive patrol of all flanks and flashpoints. We will be very ruthless with these economic saboteurs because we have a responsibility to protect the nation’s economy in line with the expectation of Tue Federal Government of Nigeria.”