5,200 live ammunition (cartridges of 30GR 70mm Calibre ) and various contraband goods with a duty paid value (DPV) of Three Hundred and Seventy Eight Million, Seven Hundred and Fifty One Thousand, Nine Hundred and Thirty Five Naira only (N378,751,935.00) were intercepted between November 23rd to December 27th, 2020 by Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘C’ Owerri.
The Unit also recovered Seven Million, Five Hundred and Fifty Seven Thousand, Seven Hundred and Thirty One Naira only (N7,557,731.00) from demand notices on general goods that tried to cut corners from seaports in the guise of false declaration, transfer of value, and shortchange in duty payment, making a cumulative sum of Three Hundred and Eighty Six Million, Three Hundred and Nine Thousand, Six Hundred and Sixty Six Naira only (N386,309,666.00) within the month under review.
The Controller of Unit, Comptroller Yusuf Lawal, disclosed this development in a press statement issued by the Unit’s Public Relations Officer, Jerry Attah.
Comptroller Yusuf Lawal expressed concerns over the trends in arms and ammunition smuggling in the country recent times while making reference to the interceptions in Lagos in 2017, in Kwara in 2018 and just recently in Kebbi using different routes and now the interception of 5,200 live ammunition cartridges (30GR 70mm Calibre) on the 13th of December 2020 concealed with other goods and household items in a passenger vehicle: Toyota Sienna with registration number: DKA 237 DW along Nwezenyi Ikom Road Cross River, based on credible and timely intelligence.
“Only God knows what would have happened if these cartridges get to its destination unchecked, considering the fragile security of the Nation: from armed robbery, kidnapping, banditry to an insurgency,” he said.
Comptroller Yusuf stated that the seized ammunitions fall under schedule 4 of the Common External Tariff, which its importation is absolutely prohibited.
Other seized items include 1,215 bags of foreign parboiled rice 50kg each mostly concealed in bags of beans, maize and groundnut seeds all with the aim of deceiving our officers, 38 Jumbo bales of used clothing, 204 cartons of imported tomatoes and four used exotic vehicles including one new bulletproof Toyota Landcruiser 2019 model (without end-user certificate), two Toyota Hilux 2016 and 2015 respectively, one Mercedes Benz ML350 2015, and other controlled pharmaceutical products at various locations. Three suspects were arrested in connection with these different seizures.
Comptroller Yusuf Lawal attributed this achievement to the leadership style of the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) and the entire Management Team of the Nigeria Customs Service for their efforts in recognizing hard work, dedication and commitment. “Without the Management motivation and necessary logistics support, we won’t have attained this feat within this short period”.
Comptroller Yusuf commended the commitment, doggedness and diligence of the officers and men of the FOU ‘C’ for thwarting the antics of some daredevil smugglers/economic saboteurs who used different methods to deceive the Service. He however charged his officers to be professional and diligent in performing their statutory responsibilities in the year 2021.
“We believe we have what it takes to do more in this new year of 2021. Consequently, Let me use this special privilege to call on the general public and you the members of the fourth estate of the realm to join the Nigeria Customs Service in the advocacy campaign against the danger of smuggling to the nation’s economy,” said he.
Yusuf warned all economic saboteurs or would-be smugglers who see the new year as a peak period for their nefarious acts to desist from such illegal business as the Unit has devised other preemptive strategies that will make them run for their monies and count their loses.