Smuggled vehicles: We never invade hotel – Customs

Nigeria's Comptroller General of Customs Hameed Ali

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has debunked the information that its operatives invaded a hotel in Abuja in search of smuggled vehicles.

The Customs noted that its operatives relying on intelligence went to the hotel to carry out the arrest of the smuggled vehicles and its operatives never moved from room to room to wake up guests as being reported in the media.

According to Deputy Comptroller Joseph Attah, Public Relations Officer of the Customs, ‘’the attention of has been drawn to misinformation making the rounds concerning visit of our operatives to an Abuja Hotel to remove suspected smuggled vehicles yesterday.

‘’Our operatives, relying on intelligence that owners of some exotic cars (including bullet proof) without duty payment quickly removed their vehicles from a car mart and took same  to Frasier hotel Abuja.

‘’On arrival at the hotel, our operatives interacted with the manager and eventually   left with 4 vehicles  leaving 6 behind, while expecting the manager to provide the keys to the cars left behind.

‘’However, the manager this morning gave a written undertaking to produce a Customs vehicle duty payment documents to support his claim that the vehicles were not smuggled.

‘’We assured him of prompt release of the vehicles as soon as evidence of appropriate duty payments is presented.

‘’Unfortunately, we woke up to mischievous misrepresentation of an otherwise professional engagement with the manager that had nothing to do with the guests in the hotel.

‘’Some even went as far as saying that the operatives went from room to rooms waking up guests to come out for vehicle verification. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

NCS did not do such thing and has no intention to start raiding hotels. Our operatives did not infringe on the rights and comfort of guests in the hotel.’’

The customs advised Nigerians to be wary of social posts and urged them to discountenance the fabrication as NCS will continue to work in the interest of Nigerians. 

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