By Gboyega Oni
The Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit, Ikeja has saved the Federal Government of Nigeria a huge sum of Two Billion, Fifty Five Million, Three Hundred and Twenty One Thousand, Three Hundred and Eighty Nine Naira, Eight Four Kobo (N2,055,321,389.84) which would have been lost into the pockets of smugglers between July 25 to August 7, 2018.
The Controller of the Unit, Comptroller Mohammed Uba, disclosed this at Ikeja Lagos on Wednesday August 8, 2018 while addressing the press on various seizures recorded by the Unit within the period. He attributed the seizures to the reinvigorated effort of the Unit’s anti-smuggling drive in South West.
According to Comptroller Uba, the items seized and their duty paid value were 1, 380 bags of foreign parboiled rice (N18,288,174), 1,126 used bags and shoes (N2,026,800), 140 kegs of vegetable oil (N1,701,000) and 1,031kgs of Pangolin Scales (N245,447,319.3).
Others were 29.35kgs of Elephant tusk (N8,118,737.4), 1,610kgs of Indian hemp (N154,560,000), 17 used detained/seized vehicles of different types (N348,291,251.94), 49 cartons of Tramadol capsules 100mg at 300×10 capsules (N73,500,000) and 2,748 cartons of codeine and 95 cartons of Chaka pain Xtra in a MAN Truck with registration number XB 286 BEN (N1,175,200,000). The total duty paid value of the seized items was N2,055,321,389.84.
‘’It is my desire to inform you that after our reinvigorated effort in anti-smuggling drive in South West Zone, the Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit between July 25 to August 7, 2018 intercepted various contraband with a duty paid value (DPV) of Two Billion, Fifty Five Million, Three Hundred and Twenty One Thousand, Three Hundred and Eighty Nine Naira, Eight Four Kobo (2,055,321,389.84) in two weeks,’’ said Uba, who addressed the press for the last time as the Controller of the Unit.
He noted that the MAN Diesel Truck, which carried codeine and Chaka Pain Xtra, was intercepted along Afromedia Estate by Egbeda Junction beside Alaba International Market, Lagos. He added that this would be the second time in a row that the Unit would be intercepting codeine since it was banned by the federal government.
‘’Similarly and more remarkable among the seizures was the evacuation of 21 sacks of pangolin scales weighing 1,031kg and 4 pieces of elephant tusk weighing 29.35kg from a shop located at Tejuosho Market in Lagos based on information by the Warehouse Team led by AC Mutalib Sule,’’ noted the Controller, adding that the occupant of the shop fled and still at large as investigation was already ongoing towards arresting the culprit for prosecution.
Uba informed that the vehicles detained included 7 Toyota Land Cruiser Jeeps (2015 – 2018), 4 Toyota Hiace Buses (2017), 2 Toyota Coaster Buses (2017) and 4 Toyota Camry (2014).
‘’8 suspects were arrested in connection with these 25 seizures,’’ said Uba who was among Comptroller transferred by the Service last week.
He is the new Customs Area Controller of Badagry Customs Command, Seme, Lagos.