FOU Zone ‘A’ 580 Seizures, Valued At N4,022,960,075
By Okezie Nnadi
The Acting Controller of the Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘A’, of the Nigeria Customs Service, Hussein K Ejibunu during the week briefed the media on the
mid-year activities of the unit.
While the briefing dwells on our ant-smuggling activities which aim to protect our economy and prevent revenue loss, it was also aimed at discouraging unlawful activities especially those that contravene the Customs extant laws.
He said within the first six months of the year, our activities resulted in a high volume and value of seizures with some suspects arrested.
He said the unit also succeeded in preventing the entry of dangerous or harmful substances like illicit drugs into the society.
He said: “Our strategic intervention also achieved recovery of revenue through the issuance of demand notices to complete underpaid duties into the federal government coffers that were being evaded by some importers and their agents.
“For the period under review, we made 580 seizures with a duty-paid value of N4,022,960,075. We also arrested 60 suspects and recovered a total of N400,599,515.66 as revenue through the issuance of demand notices.
“We wish to express our profound gratitude to sister security agencies for their unflinching synergy in the course of our operations; special mention to the Department of State Security Services- Oyo State Command for the arrest of a notorious suspect that was on the wanted list for attack on a Customs patrol team escorting exhibits. Interestingly, this suspect was arrested and handed over the Unit yesterday.
He said through the federal high courts, 11 suspects were convicted for committing offences of improper importation, assault of Customs officers, being in possession of foreign parboiled rice and for being in possession of Pangolin scales meant for export. “While some other smuggling and related cases instituted in the courts are at various stages of prosecution and would be followed up diligently.
Prominent among the seizures is rice which amounts to 36,742 X 50kg bags of foreign parboiled rice equivalent to 62 trailer loads. Some of them were ferried through bush paths using motorcycles and rickety vehicles as means of conveyance.
Also notable among other seizures include
14,015 (7,728) parcels of Indian Hemp
1,064 bales of used clothing
450 x 106 kg drums of carbide
2 x 20 containers of unprocessed wood
1,448 pieces of foreign rugs
30 units of used motorcycles
44 units of used vehicles (Tokunbo)
218,575 litres of premium Motor Spirit (PMS)
860 cartons of foreign poultry products
833 pieces of used tyres.
He said that for the second half of 2023, our onslaught against smugglers will be fiercer with a renewed determination to uncover them using intelligence-backed enforcement.
He promised to get recalcitrant traders and their agents arrested and prosecuted in addition to seizing their wares.
He said members of the trading community are advised to further embrace compliance and shun any act that would place them on the wrong side of the law. We advise them to keep themselves abreast of the import and export prohibition lists because claims of ignorance will not suffice as an excuse whenever they are caught.