The Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone “A”, Ikeja of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) last week showcased seizures worth two (2) billion naira and paraded four (4) suspects recorded in intensified anti-smuggling operations in one Month.
Addressing journalists while conducting them round the warehouses where impounded contrabands were kept, the Customs Area Comptroller (CAC) of the command, Compt. Mohammed Uba explained that between 1st – 30th November 2017, after intensifying operational modalities to meet up with the current smuggling tactics most especially as the yuletide draws closer, the command have intercepted various contrabands with a duty paid value (DPV) of N1,595,141,144.81.
The CAC said “The seized items include: 64 assorted vehicles (mostly brand new), 13,333 bags of foreign parboiled rice (that’s like 22 trailers), 1,390cartons of frozen poultry products, 835 jerry cans of vegetable oil, 15parcels of Indian Hemp, 1,101 pieces of used tyres, 205 bales of used clothing among others”.
While calling on the public to support the Federal Government ban on rice importation through land borders to encourage local rice farmers, he said among the detained vehicles include 2 Lexus Jeep (Bullet Proof), 1Toyota Land Cruiser (Bullet Proof), 9 Toyota Hilux, 8 Toyota Hiace Bus, 26 Toyota Corolla, 9 Land Cruiser Jeep, , 5 Toyota Camry, 1 Land Rover,1 Nissan Sentra, 1 Pajero Jeep, all 2017 models and 1 Sienna 2015 model and 1 Lexus RX 350 among others . The 64 assorted Vehicles alone according to him have a duty paid value of N1, 302,927,106.16.
Compt. Uba said while fifty seven (57} vehicles were evacuated based on intelligence along Omole Estate, Ojodu and Olayiwole Close Lekki Phase one, the remaining seven (7) were intercepted while on information patrol along Ijebu-Ode expressway and Olorunda.
“As I speak with you, nobody has come forward to claim ownership yet because we doubt if they have any customs papers on the vehicles, not to talk of the End-User Certificate for the bullet proof. Our Legal unit has already been mandated to investigate it and as soon as we get any head way about the owners or their agents, we will let the public know” he said
The CAC stated that a total of 17/20ft containers loaded with wood are under detention on the suspicion that they have not met the required guidelines for export and also a 1x20ft container was seized for carrying 385 cartons of Tiffany Crunch n’ Cream biscuit, 2,300 cartons of Tiffany chocolate and Toffee Sweet as against Engine Block declared in SGD.
“This is clear case of false declaration which tantamount to seizure.6.Within the period under review, we have also recovered N108,306,018.25, making a cumulative of N1,703,447,163.06 within the period under review.
“In the spirit of inter-agency collaboration; the seized Indian hemp will be handed over to NDLEA after this press briefing for further investigation.
The CAC said five (5) suspects have been arrested and detained in connection with the seizures even as he appreciated the Comptroller General of Customs (CGC) Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) and the entire management team of the NCS for providing necessary logistics that brought about the cheering feats.