NCS FOU Seizes N2.55bn Contraband in Three Weeks

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Eromosele Abiodun

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘A’ Ikeja, has announced that it intercepted various contraband with a duty paid value (DPV) of N2.55 billion between March 1 to March 19, 2018.

The Controller, FOU, Mohammed Uba Garba who disclosed this while addressing newsmen in Lagos on Tuesday, said it achieved the feat after an intensive onslaught on dare devil smugglers deploying its tactical operational modalities.

The seized items, according to him, included 16 Exotic vehicles mostly 2017 model, 7,201 bags of foreign parboiled rice (12 trailers), 1,172 cartons of frozen poultry products, 1,352 jerrycans of vegetable oil, 72 bales of used clothing, 464 pieces of used tyres, 407 sacks of Pangolin scales, and 629 pieces of textile Ankara Material among others.

“Remarkably, among the seizures was the interception of eight trucks laden with 3,351 bags of rice and 669 jerrycans of vegetable oil along Iseyin, Oyo/Osun Axis and also the evacuation of 1,253 bags of rice 50kg each from a warehouse in Ogbomosho based on credible intelligence despite resistance. You will recall that the ban on the importation of foreign rice through the land was to encourage efficiency in local production. Therefore, the need to support the federal government policy on rice, encourage local rice farmers, the millers and patronise our own nutritional rice cannot be over emphasised,” he said.

He further added that among the detained vehicles are: two Lexus Jeep (RS350 2016,2017 model); One Rolls Royce; One Lincoln Limousine (2014); three Toyota Camry(2009,2013 and 2017 models); One Toyota Rav 4; One Toyota Avalon (2016); one Toyota Tundra, One Dodge . These 16 exotic Vehicles alone have a duty paid value of (N340.70 million) only.

“While six vehicles were evacuated based on intelligence along Lekki Epe Expressway, the remaining 10 were intercepted while on information patrol at various locations. The vehicles are still under detention pending the grace period allowed for the owners to bring relevant customs document.

“Also, 407 sacks of Pangolin scales weighing 10,263kg was evacuated from an apartment at 64 Opebi Road, Off Toyin Street, Ikeja Lagos within the weeks under review with a duty paid value of N2.094. In the spirit of inter-agency cooperation the pangolin scales and the suspect will be handed over to Nigeria Environment Standards and Regulatory Enforcement Agency (NESREA) for further investigation in collaboration towards protecting our natural habitat and protecting our endangered species Five (5) suspects have been arrested in connection with these 89 seizures.

“Let me still use this opportunity to thank the Comptroller General of Customs Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd) and the entire management team of the NCS for appreciating us with a commendation letter and providing necessary logistics that brought about this feat. We are very determined to ensure sustenance of this laudable sterling performance by making sure we give economic saboteurs a run for their money,” he added.