The Federal Operations Unit (Zone A) of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), has announced various seizures of contraband which duty paid value was put at N2.2bn.
The seizures include 22 exotic vehicles, 11,303 bags of foreign parboiled rice (equivalent of 18 trailers) and 2,410 foreign frozen poultry products.
Among the seizures according to the New Area Controller, Mr Mohammed Aliyu, were 853 jerrycans of vegetable oil, 245 parcels of Indian Hemp, 4x40ft containers of unprocessed wood, 2,017 bales of used clothing, 283 cartons of various pharmaceuticals which were all without NAFDAC Registration number.
Aliyu who briefed journalists said the seizures were recorded by the operatives of the Command in the past one month, between September 4 and October 3.
A breakdown of the intercepted goods showed that the various contraband had a a duty paid value (DPV) of N2.01bn.
Among the 22 vehicles under detention/seizure were Nine Bullet proof vehicles including 4 Lexus Jeep LX570 (2016), 3 Land Cruiser Jeeps (2016) and 2 Mercedes Benz G63 and S550 (2014/2015), 1 Toyota Rav4 (2015), 3 Toyota Hilux (2018) and 2 Toyota Highlander (2018).
Other vehicles were 1 Toyota Prado (2018) 1 Toyota Land cruiser (2016), 1 Toyota Corolla, 1 Toyota Fortuner (2017), 1 Toyota Sequoia, 1 Lexus RX 350..
Aliyu said “These 22 exotic Vehicles alone have a duty paid value of (N1,179,889,909.8) only. While some of the vehicles were intercepted at Ogere and Ijebu Ode expressway, the bullet Proof Vehicles were trailed and evacuated from some private residence in Victoria Island based on credible information”.
“The Command also recovered the sum of N220,025,938.8) from demand notices on vehicles and other general goods whos importers tried to cut corners at the seaports, airport and border stations in the guise of false declaration, transfer of value, and shortchange in duty payment that are meant for the Federal Government of Nigeria, making a cumulative of N2,237,979,446 within the weeks under review making it a landslide in recent times”.
He commended his officers for their efforts in making the seizures possible.
According to him, “You will agree with me that smuggling is a global phenomenon, which cannot be curbed entirely but can be brought to its barest minimum. Let me use this opportunity to praise the commitment and diligence of the officers/men of the federal operations unit zone ‘A’ for thwarting the antics of dare devil smugglers. I urge you the media and the general public to join us in the fight against smuggling considering the economic diversification effort of the Federal Government that is for the good and wellbeing of all Nigerians”.
In the same manner, the seized Indian hemp and the medicaments, the Controller said will be handed over to NDLEA and NAFDAC for thorough investigation, adding that 28 suspects have been arrested in connection with the 89 seizures.
“ Let me advise those economic saboteurs who see yuletide season as a peak period for their nefarious acts to desist from such illegal business as the unit has devised other tactical strategies that will chase them out of such illegalities”, he warned.