Customs clampdown smugglers, intercept prohibited items

David Adekunle, Lagos

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Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit, FOU Zone A says it will continue to make sure smugglers within its jurisdiction count losses until they repent from sabotaging the country’s economy.

This comes on the heels of another giant strides in anti-smuggling operations, where Contraband goods and Vehicles were intercepted with a duty paid value (DPV) of One billion,Three hundred and Forty Five Million, Five hundred and Seventy two thousand Three hundred and thirteen naira (1,345,572,313) between May 16th to June 12th 2018.

The seized items include: 15 Exotic Vehicles including 3 Toyota C-HR( 2018 models), 1 Toyota Camry LE (2018), 1 Toyota Prado (2018), 1 Toyota Hilux (2017), 1 Ford F150(2017), 1 Pajero Jeep (2017), 1 Mercedes Benz (2017).

Others are 9,049 bags of Foreign parboiled rice, 1,464 cartons of frozen poultry products, 870 Jerry-Cans of Vegetable oil, 273 bales of used clothing, 592 pieces of used tyres. Also, Four Containers with number PCIU 850134/9, PCIU 8278544, FCIU 983753 and TGHU 6924330 have been seized for false declaration while two containers were carrying 8,633 pieces of empty cylinders as against plumbing materials declared as other two carried 120 bales of new jeans as against punching machine declared.

Customs Area Controller, FOU Zone A, Mohammed Uba while conducting Journalists over the seizures said the Unit through its anti-smuggling Operations have recovered Fifty Nine million, Five hundred and Six thousand, Seven hundred and Seventy three naira, twenty five kobo (59,506,773.25) from underpayments,making a cumulative of One billion, Four hundred and Five million, Seventy Nine thousand, Eighty six naira only (1,405,079,086) within the weeks under review.

Uba also said that the Unit would ensure full implementation of the government policy banning the importation of rice through land borders and following the headquarters directive on same.

According to him: “As you know, smuggling is a global phenomenon that cannot be eradicated entirely but if all hands are on deck, it will be reduced to its nearest minimum.

“The service has re-strategized operational modalities and beam its searchlight at the Creek, Water side and at various locations in Southwest Zone and hence the reason for the massive seizure within the period under review.

Let me commend our officers who have put their lives on the line making these seizures, most especially the 15 trailers load of rice, knowing fully well it’s a big battle at the creek and bush parts. Their resilience and doggedness is highly commendable,” he said.

Uba who eulogized media for sensitizing and educating the general public on the evil of smuggling to the nation’s economy extended gesture to the Comptroller General of Customs, Colonel Hameed Ali for the logistics support to achieving the feat.

Omolayo.A