In its continuous fight against smuggling activities, the Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A of Nigeria Customs Services (NCS) has arrested a total of 12 suspects in connection to 112 seizures between 16th of May and 12th of June, 2018.
The Unit in the same period intercepted various contraband goods and vehicles with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of One Billion, Three Hundred and Forty-Five Million, Five Hundred and Seventy-Two Thousand, Three Hundred and Thirteen Naira, (N1,345,572,313) .
Similarly, the unit through its interventions recovered Fifty-Nine Million, Five Hundred and Six Thousand, Seven Hundred and Seventy-Three Naira, Twenty Five kobo (N59,506,773.25) from underpayments making a cumulative of One Billion, Four Hundred and Five Million, Seventy Nine Thousand, Eighty Six Naira (N1,405,079,086) within the weeks under review.
The seized items include 9,049 bags of foreign parboiled rice (15 trailers), 1,464 cartons of frozen poultry products, 870 jerrycans of vegetable oil, 273 bales of used clothing and 592 pieces of used tyres.
Others includes 15 Exotic vehicles of 3 Toyota C-HR (2018 models), 1 Toyota Camry LE (2018), 1 Toyota Prado (2018), 1 Toyota Hilux (2017), 1 Ford F150 (2017), 1 Pajero Jeep (2017), 1 Mercedes Benz (2017) among others.
Speaking during a media briefing in Lagos on Wednesday, the Unit Area Controller, Comptroller Uba Garba Mohammed stated that the unit, in order to ensure full implementation of the government policy banning the importation of rice through land borders and following headquarters directive on same, had re-strategized its operational modalities and beam its searchlight at the creek, waterside and at various locations in southwest zone, hence the reason for the massive rice seizure within the period under review.
He disclosed that 4 containers with no: PCIU850134/9, PCIU8278544, FCIU983753 and TGHU6924330 have been seized for false declaration. While two of the containers were carrying 8,633 pieces of empty cylinders as against plumbing materials declared in their SGD, the other two carried 120 bales of new jeans as against punching machine declared in the SGD.
Mohammed added that the unit would continue to make sure smugglers within its areas of jurisdiction count their losses until they repent from sabotaging our economy.
“As you already know, smuggling is a global phenomenon that cannot be eradicated entirely but if all hands are on deck it will be reduced to its barest minimum”, he said.
He however commended the officers of the unit who he said had put their lives on the line making these seizures, most especially the 15 trailers load of rice knowing fully well it was a big battle at the creek and bush parts.
“Their resilience and doggedness is highly commendable. 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 you the media for your partnership in sensitizing and educating the general public on the evil of smuggling to the nation’s economy”, he stated.