The Nigeria Customs Service, Owerri has made a total of 70 seizures with a Duty Paid Value of N663,089,296 for the months of January, February and March this year.
The Customs Area Controller in charge of the unit, Comptroller Mmamudu Haruna, disclosed this to newsmen at the premises of the Nigeria Customs service in Owerri, Imo State, where he exposed the items and the trucks impounded along with them.
Haruna said the under payment recovered stood at N214,959,353, adding that this is against N7,053,441 recovered in year 2015.
More so, 34 suspects were arrested in connection with the shady deal within the period in question.
According to Haruna, 18 cases arising from the seizures are now pending in court.
He listed the contraband goods confiscated to include 46 vehicles, 380 cartons of article of plastics, 1,656 pieces of used tyres, 3,614 cartons of imported frozen poultry products as well as 818 cartons of foreign soap/detergents.
Others were, 181 bales of textile fabrics, 737 pieces of bags/suitcases and 85 bundles of footwear as well as 120 packages of furniture and 906 cartons of unregistered drugs, all of which were seized on the Benin, Agbor, Onitsha-Asaba, Owerri, Calabar and Aba/Eleme Axis.
Aside this, the Customs Unit Area Comptroller said over 19 trucks of 50kg rice, also impounded by his men, had been detained for proper and thorough investigation.
Haruna reiterated that there were no more hiding places for smugglers in the country as men of the NCS are now more than ever ready to dislodge them where they are.
“Our men are now better trained, well equipped and motivated to deal with the nefarious activities of smugglers that have continued to inflict a devastating blow on the nation’s economy.”he said.
Haruna added that the crusade against smugglers, their agents and collaborators had been intensified and would be pursued with stronger vigour.