Following a renewed vigor and determination to wage war against smuggling in the South West zone, the men and officers of the Controller Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone ‘A’ Ikeja, of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Comptroller Muhammed Uba has between 4th to 31st October 2017 intercepted contrabands with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of one billion, three hundred and fifty three million, six hundred and seventeen thousand, one hundred and four naira, eighty kobo (N1,353,617,104.08) only.
Comptroller Uba while addressing the press in his Ikeja office, Lagos on Wednesday, November 1st, 2017 disclosed that the seized items which includes 6,206 bags of foreign parboiled rice, of 50 know each, 67 bales of second hand clothing, 600 cartons of foreign poultry products, 13 parcels of Indian hemp, 405 pieces of used tyres, 54 kegs of foreign vegetable oil, was possible as a result of the dexterity, resilience, commitment and dedication of all officers and men of the Unit, particularly the seizing officers.
Other seizures are two containers carrying used fridges, 270 cartons of refind sun flower oil, 55 pieces of used gas compressors, 18 packs of juice, 147 bales of printed wax and 168 bales of lace material and other assorted items declared as cooking gas and new electronics declared in the SGD.
The customs boss explained that the 59 assorted vehicles amongst which 40 are 2017 models ranging from Toyota Prado Jeeps, Lexus Jeeps, Toyota Hilux, Toyota Camry, Coaster Bus, Toyota Hiace Bus among others were trailed and evacuated from car marts in Ikoyi based on intelligence gathering.
“The vehicles are currently under detention awaiting relevant customs document from the dealers within the grace period of one month. Some are even bullet proof which require End User Certificate from the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA). Investigation will reveal further on those behind the clearance of these vehicles and must face the full wrath of the law because the vehicles alone have a DPV of 1,076,895,7270.2” he said
While acknowledging that smuggling is a global phenomenon which can only be suppressed to its barest minimum with synergized efforts, Comptroller Uba reaffirmed his commitment to the sustainability of the tempo with a view to re-positioning and re-activating the anti-smuggling ambience of the Unit as he said six (6) suspects have been arrested relating to the seizures and also the Indian hemp would be handed over to the Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
“my preoccupation remains to degrade the activities of smugglers through aggressive patrol of all flanks and flashpoints. We will be very ruthless with this economic saboteurs because we have a responsibility to protect the nation’s economy in line with the expectations of the federal government of Nigeria. In view of this, I wish to advise and warn smugglers and would be smugglers to be prepared for the battle ahead because we will leave no stone unturned in our attempt to up the ante of the anti-smuggling mandate” he said.
The Controller eulogized the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali Ibrahim (Rtd) and the entire NCS management team for their unflinching support in terms of logistics, and motivation. He noted that all of these have culminated into spectacular seizures and other achievements of his command within the short period of time.
He however indulged the press to continue to support the customs by using their platforms to sensitize and educate members of the public on the effects of smuggling on our nation’s economy as he appreciated “the robust synergy that exists among the Military, Police, other security agencies and the NCS.
Recall that in his maiden briefing after one month in office, the Comptroller vowed to re-activate and re-awaken the Unit as a hub and flagship of anti-smuggling in the country. Shortly after taking over some months ago, he has put operational modalities and frame work in place to ensure a very proactive approach to smuggling activities which has resulted into various seizures that has saved the country of several revenue loses.
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