Customs: FOU A nets over N8.6 billion in six months


The Federal Operations Unit, Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) with headquarters at Ikeja, Lagos has said that having strengthened its anti-smuggling operations, it intercepted various contraband with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of eight billion, two hundred and fourteen million, four hundred  and eighty -six thousand, seventy two Naira, seventy-five Kobo (8,214,486,072.75) from January to June 2018.

A statement issued in Lagos by the Unit’s Public Relations Officer, Mr. Jerry Attah said that the Unit through its interventions recovered four hundred and five million, two hundred and seventeen thousand, nine hundred and nine Naira (N405,217,909.00) from duty payments and demand notices on vehicles and general goods that tried cut corners from seaports, airport and border stations through wrong classification, transfer of value, and shortchange in duty payment that were meant for the coffers of Federal Government of Nigeria, making a cumulative of  eight billion, six hundred and nineteen  million, seven hundred and three thousand,  nine hundred and eighty-two Naira (N8,619,703,982.00).

The statement added that in the Months under review, 107 suspects were arrested in connection to 596 different seizures comprising 34,652 foreign parboiled rice (equivalent to 58 trailers); 167 units of exotic vehicles (Toyota Prado/Lexus; bullet proof), Toyota C-HR , Toyota Camry LE,  Toyota Prado(s), Toyota Hilux, Ford F150, Pajero Jeeps, Mercedes Benz ranging from 2015-2018 models respectively); 8,987 cartons frozen poultry products, 4,586 jerrycans of vegetable oil, 3,463 cartons of different pharmaceutical/medicaments, 370 parcels/98 sacks of Indian hemp weighing 1,350kg, and various general merchandise.

It stated that remarkably among the seizures within the period, was the interception of 460 sacks of pangolin scales weighing 12, 264 kg and 218 elephant tusks, making it the highest seizure of such endangered species in the history of Federal Operations Unit Zone A adding that the seizure among others brought a lot of accolades to the unit from the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) and his management team.

“To crown it all was the visit by the Minister of State for Environment; Mallam Ibrahim Usman accompanied by the United Nations Charter on CITES delegates led by Mr. Juan Carlos who is the Chief Legal Affairs, CITES Headquarters in Geneva,  to inspect the seized items and make necessary recommendation to its headquarters. The Minister commended the FOU A for that great seizure. The UN delegates also promised their support to provide necessary trainings towards combatting such illicit trade on endangered species, so that such harmless animals don’t go into extinction. The seized pangolin and elephant tusk alone is valued at N2, 739,191,400.00, with two Chinese national as suspects, the statement said.

“In order to ensure full implementation of the Government policy banning the importation of rice through land borders, we re-strategized our operational modalities and beam our searchlight at the Creek, Water side, and at various locations in southwest zone and hence the reason for the massive rice seizure within the months under review. We will continue to make sure smugglers within our areas of jurisdiction count their losses until they repent from sabotaging our economy” the quoted the Customs Area Controller of the Unit, Comptroller Mohammed Uba as having said.

Comptroller Mohammed reiterated that even though smuggling is a global phenomenon that cannot be eradicated entirely, invited all hands to be on deck so that it could be reduced to its barest minimum.

He commended the officers and men of the Unit who have put their lives on the line making those seizures; most especially the over 58 trailers load of rice knowing fully well it’s a big battle at the creek while equally commending their resilience and doggedness that brought about this feat.

The Comptroller opined that this feat couldn’t have been possible without the logistics support of the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) and the entire management, as well as the media for its partnership in sensitizing and educating the general public on the evil of smuggling to the nation’s economy.

He further thanked sister agencies that were always on ground giving them the necessary operational support, most especially the Nigeria Army, Police, DSS among others and looked forward to sustaining such relationship that would yield better performance in the remaining half of the year.

He further charged his officers and men to be professional and diligent in performing their statutory responsibilities; most especially in the area of anti-smuggling operations by making sure all revenue linkages were blocked and encouraged them to keep thwarting the antics of those dare devil smugglers who he said used different methods for smuggling.

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