Nigerian Customs intercepts contraband worth over N200 million

 David Adekunle, Lagos

Addressing a press conference,Customs boss,Col Hameed Ali.

The Nigeria Customs Service,Federal Operations Unit (FOU) , Zone A said it has intercepted various contraband goods with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of Two Hundred Million, Nine Hundred and Ninety-Five Thousand, Six Hundred and Forty-One Naira, Eight Kobo (N200, 995, 641. 8) from 13th June to 10th July, 2017.

The Customs Area Controller of the Unit, Comptroller Mohammed Garba said this in a press briefing at the Unit’s headquarters in Ikeja, Lagos.

Comptroller Mohammed stated that the unit through its interventions recovered Twenty-Eight Million, Nine Hundred and Fifty-Four Thousand, Four Hundred and Forty-Eight Naira, Seventy-Five Kobo (N28, 954, 448. 75) from duty payments.

This was  on general goods that tried to outsmart the officers at seaports, airports and border stations through wrong classification, transfer of value and shortchange in duty payment that were meant for the Federal Government.

Mohammed noted that the figure stood at a cumulative of Two Hundred and Twenty-Nine Million, Nine Hundred and Fifty Thousand, Eighty-Nine Naira, Eight Kobo (N229, 950, 089. 8) within the period under review thereby making it another spectacular breakthrough in anti-smuggling operations under his watch.

According to him,” Fifteen (15) suspects have been arrested in connection with these seizures. Some of them have been released on administrative bail since we don’t have powers to detain suspects more than 48 hours while some are still in detention. Within this period, 40 different seizures were recorded comprising of Vegetable Oil, Foreign Parboiled rice, frozen poultry products, smuggled vehicles, medicament, used tyres and various general merchandise”.

He further revealed that the unit intercepted a total of 1, 442 cartons of drugs (Tramadol 225/120mg) in container number MSKU 98895, 1x40ft and a MAN Diesel truck with Registration No. RRU 513 XA along Apapa-Oshodi and Ijebu-Ode expressway.

“Only God knows what would have happened if these drugs get to the wrong hands. In the spirit of inter-agency relationship, the drugs will be handed over to NAFDAC today for further investigation”, he said.

The CAC informed newsmen that following series of infractions on the containers intercepted on information, the unit had seized 7 containers that contravened customs law by means of false declaration and breach of import prohibition list by trade.

He said,” While three of the containers carried 5, 014 pieces of used tyres, used fridges, used double electric burner, the other containers carried 449 cartons of Eva soap as against poultry incubator declared in the SGD. This act of false declaration falls under section 46 (d), (e), (f) of CEMA Cap C45 LFN 2004, which is tantamount to outright seizure.”

“You can see how clearly the government loses revenue to these economic saboteurs. Just yesterday, we intercepted one DAF truck with Registration No. DAL 543 ZX carrying 1, 200 cartons of smuggled poultry products along Lagos-Ibadan expressway. Similarly, Container No. BOMU 588006/6, 1x40ft conveying 400 bales of second hand clothing was also seized”.

He expressed gratitude to the Comptroller- General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali and the Management of the Service for their relentless effort in putting round pegs in round holes and for the provision of incentives and logistics that brought about the feat.

He therefore called on the members of the media and the general public to provide necessary intelligence that could assist the service in bringing smuggling to its barest minimum.

Ime Njoku