Customs in harvest of seizures, intercepts goods worth over N356.2M in Lagos


The Federal Operations Unit, Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted contraband goods with a Duty Paid Value of Three Hundred and Fifty-Six Million, Two Hundred and Five Thousand, Fifty Naira, Seventy-Eight Kobo (N356,205,050.78) between August 29th and October 3rd, 2017.

The Customs Area Controller of the Unit, Comptroller Uba Garba Mohammed who disclosed this in a press briefing in Lagos on Wednesday listed the seized items to include: 11 used vehicles, 4,227 bags of foreign parboiled rice, frozen poultry products, vegetable oil, Indian Hemp, medicaments, used tyres and scrap metals, used shoes, wet blue, electric cables, unprocessed wood and bales of clothing.

Mohammed disclosed that on Friday, 29th of September, 2017, following a tip off, the operatives of the unit trailed and evacuated 3000 bags of smuggled rice from 10 houses along waterside in Ere village of Ado-Odo Local Government Area of Ogun State.

“Each of these houses has three exit doors for their nefarious activities. As we were evacuating the rice from one house to the other, the villagers were also busy packing the rice to the bush through other exits. That is to tell you the extent some people take risk while indulging in smuggling. They see smuggling as a way of life and an inherited business. We were able to achieve this with the support from the Military from the 9th Brigade of the Nigerian Army”, he said.

Giving details of the eleven seized vehicles, he pointed out that among them were two Lexus Jeep GX460 and RX330, one Toyota RAV4, two Toyota Camry, five Mercedes Benz and one Iveco Truck (Tanker) ranging from 2007 to 2013 models respectively valued at One Hundred and Twenty-Five Million, Four Hundred and Three Thousand, Five Hundred and Ninety-Eight Naira, Five Kobo (N125,403,598.5).

He continued,”Also, we have 17 assorted vehicles in detention of various models. The vehicles were evacuated from car marts due to infractions noticed in their documents. As I speak with you, they have not been able to provide relevant customs papers on some yet but we have given them enough room to provide them. The vehicles under detention have duty paid value of One Hundred and Forty-One Million, Eight Hundred and Seventy-Seven Thousand, Four Hundred and Ninety-Six Naira, Fifteen Kobo (N141,877,496.15).

“A total of fourteen containers were also seized for false declaration and breach of customs law with a duty paid value (DPV) of One Hundred and Four Million, Six Hundred and Eighty-Four Thousand, Twenty-Three Naira, Two Kobo (N104,684,023.2) while seven containers carried unprocessed woods. One was container carrying scrap metals and another one carrying wet blue for exports which fall under export prohibition list. Also, three of the seized containers were medicaments without appropriate import documents and certification. Two containers were carrying Made in Nigeria cables but imported from China which was declared as electric distribution board and ballast. Only God knows what would have happened if these products got into our markets”.

The CAC stated that the seized Indian Hemp , the medicaments and the cables would be handed over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) for thorough investigation.

The Controller added that Eight (8) suspects were arrested in connection with those 128 seizures saying that so far, the unit had twelve (12) trials at the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and Federal High Court respectively even as he said that three were criminal cases, nine were civil case while one suspect was convicted and sentenced to seven years imprisonment.

“Within the period under review, we have also recovered Thirty-Nine Million, Four Hundred and Twenty-Three Thousand, Eight Hundred and Thirty-Six Naira, Seventy-Five Kobo (N39,423,836.75) making a cumulative of Three Hundred and Ninety-Five Million, Six Hundred and Twenty-Eight Thousand, Eight Hundred and Eighty-Seven Naira, Fifty Kobo (N395,628,887.53)”, he added.

While thanking the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd) and the entire Management team of the Nigeria Customs Service for providing necessary enticements and logistics that brought about the feat, he believed that with the decoration of some of the new management members yesterday at the headquarters, officers would have no option than to justify why they were there.

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