By Gboyega Oni
The Nigeria Customs Service has reiterated its determination to checkmate smuggling activities in Nigeria particularly in the south western part of the country warning that those who engage in illegal business activities should desist as the Service is well equipped to cripple them.
Comptroller Mohammed Uba Garba, Controller of Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A, Ikeja Lagos, of the Service, stated this today August 28 while handing over 1,590kg of seized Indian hemp and medicament drugs to both officials of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and National Agency for Foods and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) among other goods seized by the Unit at its Ikeja office in Lagos, Nigeria.
The Controller said compliant traders should not exercise any fear in the discharge of their legitimate businesses and be honest in their declarations.
Mohammed who said the policies of the government banning importation of rice and vehicles through land borders are still in force, stressed that all these goods except Indian hemp and medicament’s were seized because of false declarations and concealment. All the items were seized between Wednesday August 9 and Friday August 25, 2017.
The Duty Paid Values (DPV) of the hemp in 147 sacks of 10kg each and 120 parcels of 1kg each was N72,960,000 and 1104 cartons of medicaments of different types in two trucks was N12,135,603.
Other goods seized by the Unit were 27 units of assorted vehicles with N228,215,429.1 DPV, 1237 bags of foreign parboiled rice of 50kg each with N15,257,198.85 DPV, 139 bales of second hand clothing and lace materials with N27,288,000.00 and 523 pieces of used tyres with N2,824,200.
The Unit also seized a truck carrying one thousand two hundred and forty three cartons of frozen poultry products with DPV of N10,029,600; one forty feet container carrying three used cars together with some other contraband with N5,859,950 DPV; one forty feet container laden with 308 pieces of used truck tyres and tubes with N33,264,000; and one forty feet container laden with 858 cartons of rechargeable inverter battery rock with N123,552,000 DPV.
The total Duty Paid Value of the seized items was N531,476,100.00 and recovered amount was N252,173,201.25. Grand total of the 54 seizure was N783,649,203.2. 16 suspects were arrested in connection with the seizure by the Unit.
“The Nigeria Customs Service remains tenacious in its determination to enforce these policies. As we enter ’ember’ months this weekend when economic activities strive to boom, let me use this opportunity to send this warning message to smugglers within south west zone to desist from such illegal trade as weare well equipped with all necessary arsenal to cripple smugglers and send them out of their illegal businesses.
“I urge all compliant traders not to exercise any fear while embarking on their legitimate businesses but to be honest in their declaration because as one of the enforcement agencies of government, we will continue to work towards ensuring compliance with all extant laws governing imports and export in Nigeria,” the Controller said.
Thanking the Comptroller General of Customs Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd.) for providing necessary incentives and logistics for the Unit, Mohammed appreciated the cooperation and assistance of other government agencies to the Service in the fight against smuggling in the country.
By Gboyega Oni