The Federal Operations Unit, Zone A Lagos, of the Nigeria Customs Service, says it recorded a total of 144 seizures with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N3.3 billion within three months.
The seized items included 14,789 bags of 50kg smuggled parboiled rice, 727 cartons of unregistered drugs, 2,784 cartons of frozen poultry products, 28 units of smuggled used vehicles, 116,000 litres (4,640 jerry cans) of PMS, 237 bales and 6 sacks of secondhand clothing, 20 cartons of Tramadol,
Others were 885 pieces of used tyres, 10,400 cartons of Alcoholic Beverages in 4 containers, 84 different kinds of vehicles laden with 50kg each smuggled rice, 5x20ft containers of rough and semi-processed wood, among others.
Comptroller Usman Bello Yahaya, the Controller of the Unit, said the items seized were smuggled into the country through unapproved routes and disclosed that 28 units of exotic cars valued at N258.61 million were also seized within the same period.
“The period under review recorded a total of 144 seizures with a Duty Paid Value of N3.3 billion. We also arrested 23 suspects in connection with the seizures. Out of the 23 suspects, 12 have secured administrative bail, while 11 are still in our custody.
“Two of the suspects had attempted to smuggle in Cannabis Sativa also known as Indian hemp.
“From the foregoing, you will all agree that smugglers are undaunted in their nefarious activities to cripple the economy with the magnitude of the seizures showcased. With the series of seizures, one would have expected a reduction in their activities. Nevertheless, we have the capacity and capability to render smugglers in this zone miserable. Whatever is the driving force behind their activities, we will continue to make it unprofitable for them.
“We have also been having a confrontation with smugglers especially in the volatile areas like Ogun and Idiroko axis, where smuggling is considered a legitimate business. However, such confrontation will never deter our operatives from carrying out their statutory responsibility. Smugglers must desist from engaging in smuggling activities,” Yahaya warned.