The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit, Zone â€˜Aâ€™ Ikeja, has vowed to send smugglers out of business and ensure all revenue due to the federal government are fully collected.
The Controller, FOU, Mohammed Uba Garba who stated this while showing journalists around its latest seizures, warn all smugglers/intending ones and their accomplices to desist from such trade malpractices and invest their money in legitimate business.
He disclosed that the FOU has devised other operational modalities that will give the smugglers a run for their money and count their losses and finally end in jail.
He said between March 19 and April 9, 2018, the FOU intercepted various contraband with a duty paid value (DPV) of N1.461 billion, adding that 10 suspects were arrested in connection to the seizures.
â€œSimilarly, the unit, through its intervention recovered N166.20 million from duty payments and demand notices on general goods from seaports, airport and border stations through wrong classification, transfer of value, and short-change in duty payment meant for the coffer of Federal Government of Nigeria, making a cumulative sum of N1.627 billion within the weeks under review. The seized items include: Indian hemp, 64 exotic vehicles, 6003 bags of foreign parboiled rice (equivalent to 10 trailers), 963 cartons of frozen poultry products, 431 jerry cans of vegetable oil, 163 bales of used clothing, 569 pieces of used tyres, 69 bags of sugar, four containers, among others.
â€œAmazingly, among the seizures was the interception of 570 parcels and 98 sacks of Indian Hemp (Cannabis Sativa) weighing 1,550kg along Olorunda axis of Ogun State based on intelligence making it the highest seizure of such hard drugs in the history of FOU A. You all know what would have happened if it got to the wrong hands undetected. In the spirit of interagency relationship, the seized Indian hemp will be handed over to NDLEA for further investigation,â€ he said.
He added: â€œAlso worthy of note is the evacuation of 2,671 bags of 50kg rice using 9 hired truck from nine makeshift storage houses in Ilogbo, Abeokuta based on credible intelligence despite resistance led by the Lagos Roving Team complemented by other teams. There was mob attack against our operatives but that never deterred us from performing our statutory responsibilities. Thank God there was no casualty. We will continue to enforce the federal governmentâ€™s policies banning the importation of rice and other prohibited goods through the land borders regardless of any situation so as to encourage efficiency in local rice production, which will create more employment opportunities for our teaming youths.
â€œAmong the 13 detained vehicles include: One Toyota Land cruiser (2018), one Escalades Cardilac (2017), one Range Rover (2014), three Toyota Camry(2009,2010 and 2017 models); one Toyota Rav 4,one Toyota Highlander (2014), one Honda CRV, 1 Honda Accord; one BMW Salon; one Toyota Sienna; one Hyundai, among others. The vehicles are still under detention pending the grace period allowed for the owners to bring relevant customs document. The interception was done while on information patrol at various locations within our areas of jurisdiction. These 13 detained exotic vehicles alone have a duty paid value of N258.13 million. It will interest you to know that among the detained vehicles in our previous briefing, 64 of them have been converted to seizure after all necessary legal procedures were followed within the week under review, awaiting Court condemnation. â€œ
â€œAdditionally, four containers 3x40ft and 1x20ft were seized for different Customs breaches in the importation process. The 1x20ft container no: CSNU 106087/4 carried 2,260 cartoons of Gonca Spagetti made in turkey and 530 package of Rifle Energy drinks made in Europe as against baking powder declared in the SGD. Further investigation revealed that the container was never exited, we are still investigating and all those found culpable will face the full wrath of the law. While 1x40ft container no: PCIU 865957/1was seized for carrying 200 cartons of ladies shoes,134 cartons of children among other items as against keyboard and mouse declared in the SGD, 1x40ft container no:FCIU 80992/0 was seized for carrying 2300 cartons of tiffany chocolate,385 cartons of tiffany crunch n cream biscuit as against â€œTapet for fuel pump complete.â€ These are clear cases of false declarations, liable to seizure and forfeiture,â€ he stated.