Customs Intercepts Illegal Goods Worth 1.2Bn, Arrests 9 Suspects
By Ebenezer William
Federal Operations Unit Zone A of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), on Tuesday, said that it intercepted 167 (202 kg) parcels of Indian hemp, 13 trailers load of rice, 14,825litres of premium motor spirit and others valued at N1.242 billion in one month.
Speaking to newsmen during a briefing in Lagos, the acting Area Controller of the Unit, DC Hussein Kehinde, said in the Unit’s continuous quest to prevent revenue loss through various infractions such as;
under-valuation, under-payments, and wrong classification, the sum of N115. 456 million
was collected following the issuance of demand notices to defaulters while nine suspects were arrested in connection with various seizures.
“As I have always stated, the Federal Operations Unit Zone A is sustaining its resolve to protect Nigeria’s economy by uncompromisingly enforcing the anti-smuggling laws. Just as intelligence reports gathered over the years indicated a higher degree of desperation by economic saboteurs to smuggle during the yuletide periods.
“While noting this challenge, we have fully deployed the improved logistics supplied by the Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir AA. Adeniyi; who provided support for our officers with strategic manpower placements to achieve our ongoing drive to suppress smuggling,” he said.
According to him, its reviewed strategies have been paying off as reflected in the seizures recently made by the Federal Operations Unit, Zone A, for October, saying that the Unit shall sustain its efforts according to him, its reviewed strategies have been paying off as reflected in the seizures recently made by the Federal Operations Unit, Zone A, for October, saying that the Unit shall sustain its efforts towards deploying these strategies continuously towards deploying these strategies continuously
“Before reeling out the list of seizures which amounts to N1,241,777,700 in duty-paid value, I want to state that this Unit of the Service under my watch will make the remaining part of 2023 and beyond tough for smugglers in the interest of our country.
“We are ready to intercept them and frustrate their antics of concealment, illegal route
passage, false declaration and under declaration. In addition, we are also determined to implement all the provisions of the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023, including the various penalties attached to offences while striving to ensure that perpetrators face the full wrath of the law,” he assured.
He said rice has been a recurring commodity in the Unit’s list of seizures across various borders in the southwest zone.
“We were able to seize a total of 7,381 units of 50kg foreign parboiled rice from smugglers. This amounts to almost thirteen trailer loads of rice. A total of 17 vehicles were also seized from smugglers who wanted to circumvent the law by evading duty payment. For the avoidance of doubts, let me state
again that the ban on vehicle importation through land borders subsists.
“Our officers also intercepted 593 jerrycans (14,825 litres) of premium motor spirit. Because of the volatility of this product, we have safely disposed of them in line with laid down due process. Other seizures include 657 pieces of used tyres, 167 (202 kg) parcels of Indian hemp, 39bales of second-hand clothing, 100 packs of tomato ketchup, 4 units of used motorcycle, 600 cartons of GIV soap and 730 sacks of hide and skin hidden in a 1×40 container equivalent to 5,033 pieces,” he said.
However, he appealed to all well-meaning and patriotic Nigerians to continue to support the Unit with credible information that will assist in battling economic sabotage.
He further encouraged members of the press to constantly support Customs by using their position to discourage smuggling and any act that contravenes the customs ordinance.