By Eromosele Abiodun
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A, Ikeja has announced that over the weekend, it intercepted contrabands, and raised debit notes on importers worth N17 billion between January to June 2020.
It added that while contrabands intercepted by the unit were from smugglers in South-Western states of the country included used vehicles, pharmaceuticals, textiles, foreign parboiled rice, tomato paste, second hand clothing among others, the debit notes were raised on importers who under declared their cargoes for lesser Customs duty.
The Customs Area Controller of the unit, Acting Compt. Usman Yahaya, in a statement said N15.6 billion was generated from contrabands seized from smugglers while N1.4 billion were raised from wrong classification, transfer of value and false declaration of cargoes.
Yahaya added: “The total duty paid value of N15.6 billion were premised on seized contrabands while the N1.3 billion were revenue from the unit interventions arising from wrong classifications, transfer of value and false declarations by importers.
“So, a total of N17 billion was recovered for the federal government in the period under review.”
According to the CAC, the unit also intercepted a truck load of banned textile materials worth N565 million imported from Benin Republic.
He also disclosed that 18,760 bags of foreign parboiled rice smuggled into the country from Benin Republic and 64 units of exotic vehicles were intercepted and detained for duty evasion and under payment were intercepted.
He said, “A quick glance at our seizure reports from 7th January, 2020, shows 64 exotic vehicles including two bullet proofs, 18,760 bags of 50kg of foreign parboiled rice valued at N469million, 1,338kg of Indian Hemp N201million, and 147 sacks (9,504kg) of Pangolin scales worth N10.4billion.
“Others are 3,059 cartons of tomato paste, 10,653 cartons of frozen poultry products, 5,423 kegs of 25 litres each of vegetable oil, 56,472 bundles of printed textiles valued at N565million, 66 packs of Tramadol, 872 bales of Second hand clothing worth N61million, 11,077 cartons of frozen products worth N177million.
“Also intercepted are 5,423 kegs of vegetable oil valued at N87million, 7,549 jerry cans of Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) valued at N27million, 5 containers load of phamaciticals valued at N3million, 64 units of motorcycles used for smuggling valued at N565million among others, “he said.
Yahaya, however, warned smugglers to embrace legitimate business, saying the Unit was ready to send them out of illegitimate business.
He also disclosed that the seizure was borne out of intelligence and hard work of eagle eye officers of the unit.
“My message to smugglers is that they should stop smuggling and embrace legitimate business because the unit is ready to run them out of business,” he warned.