The Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘A’ of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has collected a total of N783,649,203.2 through seizures of vehicles and other items bothering on smuggling, concealment and under declaration.
Less than three weeks the Unit made a seizure of SUVs worth over N1.3 billion, this new achievement was made through an intensified operational modalities of the field operatives, fortified with credible information.
The seizures ranging from smuggled vehicles of different brands, foreign parboiled rice, frozen poultry products, medicament, tyres to various general merchandise had seen the Unit leading other Units in the country in the fight against smuggling.
According to the Unit, a total of 54 seizures have been made within the short period under review while 16 suspects have been arrested in connection with the seizures.
Addressing newsmen on the seizures, the Customs Area Controller of the Unit, Comptroller Mohammed Uba Garba revealed that total of 27 assorted vehicles with Duty Paid Value of N228,215,429.1 were seized.
In a similar development, a Duty Paid Value of N303,260,671.85 was also realised through interception of other contraband products and three containers on false declaration.
Further, through interventions, the Unit recovered the sum of N252,173,201.25 from duty payments and demand notices from goods that tried to outsmart customs officers at the Nigerian seaports, airports and land borders station.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Federal Government policies banning the importation of Rice and Vehicles through the land borders are still in force”, Comptroller Garba said.
He went further, “As we enter ’ember’ month this weekend when economic activities strives to boom, let me use this opportunity to send this warning message to smugglers within south west zone to desist from such illegal trade as we are well equipped with all necessary arsenal to cripple smugglers and send them out of their illegitimate businesses.”
Comptroller Garba further encouraged traders who engage in legal trade not to exercise fear while carrying out their business provided they make honest declarations.
“We will continue to work towards ensuring compliance with all extant laws governing imports and exports in Nigeria.”
He extolled Col. Hammed Ibrahim Ali (rtd.) the Comptroller General of Customs and the management team for providing the necessary incentives and logistics that brought the recorded feat.
Among the seizures, a 147 sacks of 10kg each and 120 parcels of 1kg each of Indian Hemp have been handed to the officials of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for further investigation.
While receiving the Indian Hemp, Mr. Lawal Opeloyeru, Lagos Principal Staff Officer of NDLEA commended the customs for preventing the drugs from being in circulation.
“There is a nexus between hard drugs and crime. The customs have saved the Nigerian society from crime through this seizure. We promise to harp on this collaboration to enjoy a drug free society”, Mr. Opeloyeru said.
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