No fewer than seventeen exotic vehicles have been intercepted from smugglers by the Nigeria Customs Service(NCS) Federal Operations Unit(FOU) Zone “A” Customs, Ikeja even as 593 jerry cans representing 14,825 litres of premium motor spirit were also seized.
The Customs Unit also collected the sum of N115,456,534.94 from the issuance of demand notices to defaulters on account of infractions such as; under-valuation, under-payments, and wrong classification.
Addressing the media, last week, the Acting Comptroller, FOU Zone A, DC Hussain Ejibunu, said that other seizures made include: 657 pieces of used tyres; 167 (202 kg) parcels of Indian hemp; 39 bales of second hand-clothing; 100 packs of tomato ketchup; 4 units of used motorcycle, 600 cartons of GIV soap and 730 sacks of hide and skin hidden in a 1×40 container equivalent to 5,033 pieces.
According to him, the seized fuel had since been disposed off, because of its volatility,, reiterating that the ban on vehicle importation through the land borders subsists while explaining that the vehicles were intercepted because the smugglers wanted to circumvent the law by evading duty payment.
Announcing that the seizures amounts to N1,241,777,700 in duty paid value, he noted:”I want to state that this Unit of the Service under my watch will make the remaining part of 2023 and beyond tough for smugglers in the interest of our country. We are ready to intercept them and frustrate their antics of concealment, illegal route passage, false declaration and under declaration. In addition, we are also determined to implement all the provisions of the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023, including the various penalties attached to offences while striving to ensure that perpetrators face the full wrath of the laws.
He added that “Rice has been a recurring commodity in our list of seizures across various borders in the southwest zone. We were able to seize a total of 7,381 units of 50kg foreign parboiled rice from smugglers. This amounts to almost thirteen trailer loads of rice.
Ejibunu further said, “As I have always stated, the Federal Operations Unit Zone A is sustaining its resolve to protect the Nigeria’s economy by enforcing the anti-smuggling laws in an uncompromising manner. Just as intelligence reports gathered over the years indicated a higher degree of desperation by economic saboteurs to smuggle during the yuletide periods.
“ While noting this challenge, we have fully deployed the improved logistics supplied by the Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir A Adeniyi ; provided support for our officers with strategic manpower placements to achieve our ongoing drive to suppress smuggling.
“ Our reviewed strategies have been paying off as reflected in the seizures recently made by the Federal Operations Unit, Zone A, for October. We shall sustain our efforts towards deploying these strategies continuously.’
He appealed to all well-meaning and patriotic Nigerians to continue to support the Unit with credible information that will assist in battling economic sabotage, saying “ I also urge members of the press to always support us by using their position to discourage smuggling and any act that contravenes the customs law.”