PTML Customs Makes Historic Seizure Of 20 Containers Of Expired Tomatoe Puree

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In its on going effort to combat smuggling and discouraging unlawful practices specifically false declarations, the Port and Terminal Multi-Services Limited (PTML) Customs Command has recorded a remarkable seizure that marks a historic milestone in the history of the command.

The Command intercepted and detained a staggering 20 containers filled with expired tomato concentrate, an unprecedented event since it’s inception.

Speaking to the media at the Command, the Ag. Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, said that operations of this nature align perfectly with the goals he have set for the Nigeria Customs Service under his leadership. Adding that the primary objectives of the Service are to curb smuggling, safeguard national revenue, ensure the security of the nation, and promote legitimate trade and businesses.

Ag. Comptroller General of Customs disclosed that on the 8th of August, 2023, during a routine examination, vigilant officers at PTML Command uncovered a cache of expired tomato concentrate, deemed unsafe for human consumption. “The audacity of the smugglers to attempt introducing this hazardous product into the Nigerian market is both shocking and disheartening”.

 

According to the CG, these expired tomato concentrates were concealed within 20 containers, each falsely declared as containing almond shells, all under the auspices of a company identified as Nikecristy Investment Limited. In each container, 80 drums were meticulously arranged, amounting to a total of 1,600 drums.

The duty paid value of this illegal cargo is a staggering sum of one hundred and sixteen million, two hundred and eleven thousand, seven hundred and twenty-five naira, seventy-three kobo (#116,211,725.73).

 

CG Adeniyi listed the container numbers involved in the illicit operation as : ACLU 2790243, GCNU1275582, GCNU1303278, GCNU1336137, GCNU 1361905, GCNU1316824, GCNU 1323314, GCNU1324727, GCNU1326210, SEGU3388813, ACLU 2800629 and GCLU13218553.

Others are GCNU 1340991, GCNU1353290, GCNU 1340991, GCNU 1353290, GCNU 1302570, GCNU 1308140, SEGU 3333426, and SEGU 3338351.

CGC Adeniyi disclosed that the Service is still in possession of the seized containers “As of now, all these containers remain in our custody, officially recorded as seizures. We have apprehended one suspect, Mr. Okonkwo Oliver Izunna, who is currently under administrative bail but remains under investigation.

 

“This seizure, which was processed through three separate single good declarations (SGDs) forms, is a testament to our unwavering commitment to maximally suppress smuggling and our determination to safeguard the lives of Nigerian citizens by intercepting dangerous imports such as these.

“The actions taken by those involved in this unlawful activity contravene the provisions of sections 228(1) and (2), 55 (c and d), and 233 of the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023. Additionally, it directly violates Schedule 4, item 14 of the Common External Tariff (CET) 2022-2026.

‘I would like to take this opportunity to send a stern warning to importers and their agents, urging them to steer clear of unlawful practices such as false declarations aimed at evading duties or smuggling prohibited goods into our country.

“The audacious attempt to introduce such a large quantity of expired food products into the Nigerian market is heartless and inexcusable. I want to assure you that our officers and personnel will always remain vigilant, diligently scrutinizing all import and export consignments passing through our seaports, airports, border stations, dry ports, and terminals nationwide” he said.

 

The CG however reiterate that compliant automobile importers and their agents can now expect streamlined clearance processes, with consignments being cleared within three hours when importations adhere to the Service regulations, involve honest declarations, and prompt payment of customs duties.

 

He implore all importers and their agents to act patriotically by making honest declarations. “Remember that compliance brings numerous benefits, including building a reputation for integrity, saving time and money by avoiding demand notices and penalties, and staying out of legal troubles that could lead to imprisonment, loss of licenses, and blacklisting.” His word.

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