Customs Raids Lekki Car Mart, Seizes Rolls Royce, Others

  • Arrests Chinese national

Eromosele Abiodun

The Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in Ikeja has announced the seizure of assorted vehicles, including a Rolls Royce, Chrysler, Audi Q7 and other vehicles at a car mart located in Lekki, Lagos.

The Customs Area Comptroller of the unit, Mohammed Uba, who stated this in a chat with journalists wednesday, said the unit arrested 17 suspects one of which is a Chinese in respect to smuggling offences.

He said the Federal Operations Unit intercepted vehicles, foreign parboiled rice and poultry products worth N1.03billion in February.

The unit, he said, also recovered N68 million from importers and clearing agents who under-declared their cargoes at various seaports and airports in the country.

According to him, “We have been able to intercept various contrabands with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N1.03 billion in one month. The seized items included 18 assorted vehicles; seven trailers of foreign parboiled rice; 2,619 cartons of frozen poultry products; 1,105 jerry can of vegetable oil; 2,638 pieces of used tyres; 1,333 bales of used clothing; 2,001kilogramme of pangolin, 343kg of elephant tusks among others.

“The detained vehicles are a Roll Royce, one Chrysler, one Audi Q7, one Land Rover HSE, Toyota Venza, Ford Taurus, Honda Cross Tour, four Mercedes Benz, three Kia Rio, and Escalade ranging from 2008 to 2015 model. Also, a 1/20feet container tagged CAIU0961053 was seized for false declaration which is tantamount to seizure.

“Within the period under review, we have also recovered N68million from demand notices raised on goods intercepted while attempting to cleanse the system through transfer of value and under declaration.”

The Customs boss also expressed worry over incessant arrest of Chinese for breaking Nigeria trading rules.

“The arrest of Chinese nationals is taking new dimension because about two or three time now, Chinese nationals have been arrested,” he said.

He however expressed readiness to engage Chinese nationals through their envoys on Nigeria trading rules.

Uba said: “In our own case, we can make an arrangement with their association to inform them about our trading rules, but I believe they have an association and we can enlighten them on what to bring in and what not to bring into the country.

“When that one is done and even if not done, if they continue to infringe on our law, we will continue to arrest them.”

He stated further that “the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species ‎(CITES 1973) entails that Customs administration globally protects wild life by intercepting illegal trade on such animals. It further prevents the killings of endangered species since the tusks are only available after the killing of the elephants and pangolin.”