By Eromosele Abiodun

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit, (FOU), Zone A, Ikeja has announced the seizure of assorted vehicles including 1 Rolls Royce, Chrysler, Audi Q7 and other assorted vehicles at a car mart located on Lekki, Lagos.

Customs Area Controller of the unit, Comptroller. Mohammed Uba, who disclosed this in a chat with journalists, said that the unit arrested 17 suspects including a Chinese in respect of smuggling offences.

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

The unit, he said, also recovered N68million from importers and clearing agents who under-declared their cargoes at various nation’s seaports and airports.

According to him, “We have been able to intercept various contraband with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N1.03billion in one month. The seized items include 18 assorted vehicles, seven trailers of foreign parboiled rice, 2619 cartons of frozen poultry products, 1,105 Jerry can of vegetable oil, 2638 pieces of used tyres, 1,333 bales of used clothing, 2001kg of pangolin and 343kg of elephant tusks among others.”

“The detained vehicles include a Roll Royce, 1 Chrysler, 1 Audi Q7, 1 Land Rover HSE, Toyota Venza, Ford Taurus, Honda Cross tour, 4 Mercedes Benz, 3 Kia Rio, Escalade ranging from 2008 to 2015 model. Also, a 1/20ft container, 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 neat the system through transfer of value and under declaration, “he said

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 that  Chinese nationals are arrested, “he said.

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

“In our own case we can make an arrangement with their association if any 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 warned.

He stated further: “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.”