FOU A recovers over N166 million from duty payments, Demand Notices in one month


…Arrests 10 suspects over 86 seizures

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit, Zone A, Ikeja, Lagos has said that it has through its intervention recovered One Hundred and Sixty-Six Million, Two Hundred and Seven Thousand, Seven Hundred and Thirty-Five Naira, Twenty-Five Kobo (166,207,735.25 )in the month of March alone from duty payments and demand notices on general goods from seaports, airport and border stations through wrong classification, transfer of value, and shortchange in duty payment meant for the coffer of Federal Government of Nigeria.

The Customs Area Controller of the Unit, Comptroller Mohammed Uba Garba who made this known in a press briefing in Lagos on Wednesday also said that the Unit also intercepted various contraband with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of One Billion, Four Hundred and Sixty-One Million, Six Thousand, Eight Hundred and Twenty-Three Naira, Eight Kobo (N1,461,006,823.8) between March 19th to April 9th 2018, making a cumulative sum of One Billion, Six Hundred and Twenty-Seven Million, Two Hundred and Fourteen Thousand, Five Hundred and Fifty- Nine Naira (1,627,214,559) within the weeks under review.

Comptroller Mohammed listed the seized items to include: Indian hemp, 64 Exotic vehicles, 6,003 bags of foreign parboiled rice (equivalent to 10 trailers), 963 cartons of frozen poultry products, 431 jerrycans of vegetable oil, 163 bales of used clothing, 569 pieces of used tyres, 69 bags of sugar, four containers among others.

“Amazingly, among the seizures was the interception of 570 parcels and 98 sacks of Indian Hemp (Cannabis Sativa) weighing 1,550kg, along Olorunda axis of Ogun state based on intelligence making it the highest seizure of such hard drugs in the history of FOU A.

“You all know what would have happened if it got to the wrong hands undetected. In the spirit of interagency relationship, the seized Indian hemp will be handed over to NDLEA for further investigation.

“Also worthy of note is the evacuation of 2,671 bags of 50kg rice using 9 hired truck from 9 makeshift storage houses in Ilogbo, Abeokuta based on credible intelligence despite resistance led by the Lagos Roving Team complemented by other teams.

“There was mob attack against our operatives but that never deterred us from performing our statutory responsibilities. Thank God there was no casualty. We will continue to enforce the Federal government policies banning the importation of rice and other prohibited goods through the land borders regardless of any situation so as to encourage efficiency in local rice production, which will create more employment opportunities for our teaming youths”, he said.

The Controller enumerated the 13 detained vehicles as follows: 1 Toyota Land cruiser (2018), 1 Escalades Cardilac (2017), 1 Range Rover (2014), 3 Toyota Camry (2009,2010 and 2017 models), 1 Toyota Rav 4, 1 Toyota Highlander (2014), 1 Honda CRV, 1 Honda Accord,  1 BMW Salon, 1 Toyota Sienna, 1 Hyundai, among others adding that the vehicles were still under detention pending the grace period allowed for the owners to bring relevant customs document.

He continued,”The interception was done while on information patrol at various locations within our areas of jurisdiction. These 13 detained exotic Vehicles alone have a Duty Paid Value of Two Hundred and Fifty-Eight Million, One Hundred and Thirty-Seven Thousand, Seven Hundred and Sixty-Six Naira, Ninety-Eight kobo (N258,137,766.98) only.  It will interest you to know that among the detained vehicles in our previous briefing, 64 of them have been converted to seizure after all necessary legal procedures were followed within the week under review, awaiting Court condemnation.

“Additionally, four containers 3x40ft and 1x20ft were seized for different Customs breaches in the importation process. The 1x20ft container no: CSNU 106087/4 carried 2,260 cartoons of Gonca Spagetti made in turkey and 530 package of Rifle Energy drinks made in Europe as against baking powder declared in the SGD. Further investigation revealed that the container was never exited, we are still investigating and all those found culpable will face the full wrath of the law.

“While 1x40ft container no: PCIU 865957/1was seized for carrying 200 cartons of ladies shoes,134 cartons of children among other items as against keyboard and mouse declared in the SGD, 1x40ft container no:FCIU 80992/0 was seized for carrying 2300 cartons of tiffany chocolate,385 cartons of tiffany crunch n cream biscuit as against “Tapet for fuel pump complete”. These are clear cases of false declarations, liable to seizure and forfeiture”.

He therefore warned all smugglers and intending ones and their accomplices to desist from such trade malpractices and invest their money in legitimate business, as according to him, “the Unit has devised other operational modalities that will give them a run for their money and count their losses and finally end in jail. 10 suspects were arrested in connection to these 86 seizures”.

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