The Controller of the Federal Operations Unit, Comptroller Mohammed Uba has stated that the unit has re-strategised its operational modalities in order to ensure full implementation of the federal governmentâ€™s policy banning the importation of rice through land borders.
As part of the measures, he said the unit had beamed its searchlight at the Creek, waterside, and at various locations in South-west zone, â€œhence the reason for the massive rice seizure within the period under review.â€
Uba stated this in a chat with journalists to review the unitâ€™s giant stride in its anti-smuggling activities.
Having reinvigorated its anti-smuggling operations between May 16 and June 12, 2018, he said the unit intercepted various contraband, goods and vehicles on detention with a duty paid value (DPV) of N1.34 billion
â€œSimilarly, the unit, through its interventions recovered N59.50 million from underpayments making a cumulative of N1.40 billion within the weeks under review. The detained/seized items include: 15 Exotic vehicles including: three Toyota C-HR (2018 models); One Toyota Camry LE (2018); One Toyota Prado (2018); One Toyota Hilux (2017); One Ford F150 (2017); One Pajero Jeep (2017); One Mercedes Benz (2017) among others. Other seizures were 9,049 bags of foreign parboiled rice (15trailers), 1,464 cartons of frozen poultry products, 870 jerrycans of vegetable oil, 273 bales of used clothing, 592 pieces of used tyres, among others.
â€œAlso, four containers with no: PCIU850134/9, PCIU8278544, FCIU983753 and TGHU6924330have been seized for false declaration. While two of the containers were carrying 8,633 pieces of empty cylinders as against plumbing materials declared in their SGD, the other two carried 120 bales of new jeans as against punching machine declared in the SGD. A total of 12 suspects were arrested in connection to these 112 seizures, â€œhe said.
The FOU, he added, would continue to make sure smugglers within its areas of jurisdiction count their losses until they repent from sabotaging our economy.
â€œAs you already know, smuggling is a global phenomenon that cannot be eradicated entirely but if all hands are on deck it will be reduced to its barest minimum. Let me commend our officers who have put their lives on the line making these seizures, most especially the 15 trailers load of rice knowing full well itâ€™s a big battle at the creek and bush parts. Their resilience and doggedness is highly commendable.
â€œThis feat couldnâ€™t have been possible without the logistics support of the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd.) and the entire management, as well as you the media for your partnership in sensitizing and educating the general public on the evil of smuggling to the nationâ€™s economy, â€œhe said.