By Okezie Nnadi
The Federal Operations Unit Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, in its fight against economic saboteurs across Nigeria land borders and port corridors in Southwest of the country in the month of October, 2022 made seizures worth a total duty paid value (DPV) of N671,609,384.5.
The acting Controller of the Zone, Hussein Ejibunu, who disclosed this recently, added that, 11 Suspects were arrested in connection with some of the seizures and are at various stages of investigations.
According to him, cumulative revenue recovery within the period under review is N42,320,098.00, adding, “this amount would have been lost to individuals, if not for the diligent and meticulous documentary checks by officers of this Unit”.
A breakdown of notable seizures made within October 2022, according to the anti-smuggling czar includes:
1. 7,403 bags of 50kg of foreign parboiled rice; 2. 53,759 litrs of petroleum motor spirit; 3. 121 cartons of frozen poultry product; 4. 724 bales of used second hand clothings; 5. 3 units of used motorcycles; 6. 97 pieces of used tyres; 7. 162 (96kg) parcels of Indian Hemp; 8. 11 kegs of 25 litres of vegetable oil; 9. 13 units of used fridges; 10. 3,116 pieces of cutlass; 11. 700 rolls of cigarettes; 12. 23 cartons of dates, 13. 9 units of vehicles and 14. 2 1×40 containers of charcoal.
What the Zone achieved according to Ejibunu, was possible with the enabling powers of sections: 158 (power to patrol freely), sections 160 – 163 (failure to pay duty on demand, untrue declarations, counterfeiting documents, false scales, etc) of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA), Cap C45 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 as amended.
Earlier in his statement, Ejibunu said, “Having understood the unrepentant nature of some economic saboteurs’ increased desperation to smuggle and their quest to acquire wealth ahead of the festive period, this Unit had remained resolute in enforcing compliance with the federal government fiscal policies, Customs and Excise laws.
“While doing this, we have evolved better strategies of being ahead of them; not only to seize their wares, but to get them arrested and prosecuted”.
The Comptroller reminded people that, “smuggling in whatever guise or form, is an illegal activity that constitutes a crime against Customs extant laws.
“Primarily among other effects; smuggling compromises national security, robs the nation of her revenue, which consequently affects the provision of basic amenities and social services to the citizens, and it can also destroy your health through the importation of expired, fake, and other illicit drugs”, stated.
He appealed to the trading community to be patriotic by making sincere declarations, and paying the maximum duties/levies payable to the federal government.L
“Anyone found culpable of the aforementioned would lead to economic loss and prosecution as prescribed by the extant laws”, he warned.