Nigeria Customs Service, Apapa Command, has intercepted contraband and concealed goods worth a sum of N17.5 billion in duty paid value.
The goods, laden in a total of 97 containers of 20 and 40 ft sizes, were impounded within the period of January to November 2021 as disclosed by the Customs Area Controller of Apapa Command, Nigeria Customs Service, Comptroller Yusuf Ibrahim Malanta.
The Controller who disclosed that the command garnered the sum of N784.8 billion as revenue from January to November 2021 said the command recorded seizure of 13 containers with a duty paid value of 285million in the month of November alone.
According to him, the seized items included 46.55kg of Cocaine concealed on vessels MV KARTERIA and CHAYANEE NAREE with a street value of N13.2 billion which were recorded on two occasions.
Other intercepted goods were hard substances like Captagon pills, Tramadol, Codeine syrup, foreign parboiled rice, tomatoes paste, used clothing, among others.
The controller said these seizures were made based on clear contravention of sections 46, 47, and 161 of Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) Cap C45 LFN 2004.
Malanta warned the perpetrators of the illicit trade to steer clear of the Apapa command as they will always be caught due to the fact that the men and officers of the command will always be several steps ahead of them.
He revealed that superior intelligence gathering, use of forensic manifest management system and the synergy with other sister agencies in the ports are some of the methods used to flag these illicit trade practices.
“For the avoidance of doubt, we would like to reiterate here that we will not compromise proper examination on the altar of trade facilitation and we will also not relent on sharing intelligence to alert the system on false declaration even after examination or release of falsely declared cargo.
“Concealment will always be unveiled through the use of forensic manifest management system and synergy with other sister agencies in the ports,” he declared.