The Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in its intensified operational modalities to nip smuggling tactics in the bud has intercepted items worth N1.6 billion due to various infractions within the month of January, 2018.
It added that it collected the sum of N91.366 million from under payment within the period making the cumulative of N1.709 billion.
The items seized are 31 exotic cars, mostly 2017 models which include four Rolls Royce, 1 Porche Panamera, 1 Jaguar, 1 Bentley, 2 Lexus jeep, 2G Wagon, 1Toyota Land Cruiser, 5 Toyota Corolla, 7 Mercedes Benz among others .
According to the Unit Controller, Comptroller Uba Garba Mohammed, the Duty Paid Value of the vehicles is worth N1,429,953,941.50 only.
Some of the cars, Uba said were intercepted along Ijebu Ode road while others were were evacuated at various raid in Parkview Estate, Victoria Island, Banana island, Alhaji Bankole Crescent in Ikeja and Tola Adewunmi street in Maryland as empowered by section 147 of CEMA Cap 45 laws of the federation of Nigeria.
Other items seized within the period are; 8,400 bags of foreign parboiled rice with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N1,429,953,941.50; 835 jerry cans of vegetable oil with dpv of N4,063,500.
Ten sacks bags of Indian Hemp, 2,208 pieces of used tyres, 159 bales of used clothing, imported used compressors all with dpv of N23,608,200.
He added that a 1×20 feet containers were nabbed for false declaration saying the container was carrying 537 cartons of Indian Whisky declared as yeast.
Another 1×40 container was seized for carrying 60 pieces if used Chest freezers and 570 bundles of gas hose as against condenser for steam polysonic amounting to false declaration.
Uba however urged the owners of the vehicles to come forward with valid customs clearance documents, failure of which he said the cars would be liable to seizure.
In his words “we urge the owners of these vehicles to come forward with valid Customs clearance documents otherwise they will be liable to seizure and subsequent forfeiture to the Federal Government in line with laws of the land”
“For the avoidance of doubt, our action is in line with the provisions of sections 147.of Customs Excise Management Act (CEMA) Cap 45, laws of the Federation in Nigeria 2004 gives power to search premises, while section 158 gives power to patrol freely. he added.
He however appeal to smugglers to desist from their nefarious activities or face the fire power of the customs. Uba said “Let me seize this opportunity to warn all would-be smugglers to desist from any act of illegal trade and invest their money in a legitimate business that will yield dividend on their investments.
” There is no amount of resistance from the smugglers and their mob accomplices that will deter us from performing our statutory responsibilities in all aspects especially in suppression of smuggling within southwest zone,” he warned.