Customs intercepts contraband worth over N1 billion, nabs 17 suspects in Lagos


The Federal Operations Unit, Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted various contraband with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of One Billion, Thirty-Five Million, Two Hundred and Thirty-Two Thousand, Forty-Six Naira, Thirteen Kobo (N1, 035,232,046.13) in the month of February 2018.

The seized items includes; 18 assorted vehicles, 4,201 bags of foreign parboiled rice (about 7 trailers), 2,619 cartons of frozen poultry products, 1,105 jerrycans of vegetable oil, 2,637 pieces of used tyres, 1,333 bales of used clothing, 2,001kg of Pangolin, 343kg of Elephant tusks among others.

The detained vehicles include; 1 Roll Royce, 1 Chrysler, 1 Audi Q7, 1 Land Rover HSE, 1 Toyota Venza, 1 Ford Taurus, 1 Honda Cross Tour, 4 Mercedes Benz, 3 Kia Rio, 1 Escalade, among others of various type ranging from 2008 to 2015 model.

While some of the vehicles were intercepted along Ijebu ode expressway, others were evacuated from a car mart located in Lekki, Lagos.

Speaking while conducting journalists round the seizures in Lagos on Wednesday, the Customs Area Controller of the Unit, Comptroller Mohammed Uba Garba added that a 1/20 container no. CAIU0961053 was seized for false declaration amounting to outright seizure even as he said that seventeen (17) suspects including a Chinese national, Mr. KO sin Ying had been arrested in connection with the seizures totaling 90.

Mohammed further stated that within the month under review, the Warehouse Operations Team led by Assistant Comptroller Mutalib Sule, while on intelligence, raided an apartment at No. 38 Ogundana Street, off Allen Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos and evacuated 55 sacks of Pangolin shells weighing 2,001kg valued at Four Hundred and Eight Million, Three Hundred and Nineteen Thousand, Three Hundred and Seventeen Naira, Six Kobo (N408, 319, 317.6) and 218 pieces of Elephant Tusks weighing 343kg and valued at Eighty-Five Million, One Hundred and Fifty-Six Thousand and Forty-Nine Naira, Ninety-Six Kobo (N85, 156, 649.96).

“You will recall that the responsibilities of the Nigeria Customs Service have undoubtedly increased tremendously overtime because of the implementation of different international protocols and conventions. The Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES 1973) entails that customs Administration globally protects wild life by intercepting illegal trade on such animals. It further prevents the killings of endangered species since the tusks are only available after the killing of the elephant and pangolin.

“In the spirit of inter-agency collaboration, the seized pangolin and tusks have been handed over to the Nigeria Environmental Standards and Regulatory enforcement Agency (NESREA) for further investigation in collaboration towards protecting our natural habitat, which you all witnessed earlier.

“For avoidance of doubt, our action is in line with the provisions of section 147 of Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) Cap 45, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 (power to search premises), section 158 of CEMA, Cap 45, Laws of Federation of Nigeria (power to patrol freely)”, he said.

He however disclosed that within the period under review, the unit also recovered Sixty-Seven Million, Nine Hundred and Forty-Five Thousand, One Hundred and Fifty-Eight Naira (N67, 945, 158.00) from demand notices raised on goods intercepted while attempting to beat the system through transfer of value and under declaration thereby making a cumulative of One Billion, one hundred and Three Million, One Hundred and Seventy-Seven Tjhousand, Two Hundred and Four Naira (N1, 103, 177, 204).

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