More serious than ever, the Nigeria Custom Service is out to eradicate smuggling activities in the country, as the federal operation unit zone A ikeja Lagos recently impounded 31 assorted vehicles valued at One billion, four hundred and twenty-nine million, nine hundred and fifty-three thousand, nine hundred and forty-one naira, fifty kobo (N1,429,953,941.50).
The vehicles which were impounded includes 4 Rolls Royce, 1 Porche Panamera, 1 Jaguar, 1 Bentley, 2 Lexus Jeeps, 2 G-Wagons, 1 Toyota Land Cruiser, 5 Toyota Corolla, 7 Mercedes Benz among others were all 2017 models.
It was noted that some of the vehicles were intercepted along Ijebu-Ode expressway, others were evacuated during various raids in Parkview Estate, Victoria Island, Banana Island, Alhaji Bankole Crescent Ikeja and Tola Adewunmi Street, Maryland, all in Lagos.
The unit also intercepted 8,400 bags of foreign parboiled rice (about 14 trailers), 1,652 cartons of frozen poultry products, 835 jerrycans of vegetable oil, 10 sacks of Indian Hemp, 2,208 pieced of used tyres and 159 bales of used clothing.
While taking journalists round the seizures, the Customs Area Controller of the Unit, Comptroller Mohammed Uba Garba stated that a 1x20ft container no. GATU132358/4 was seized for carrying 537 cartons of Indian Whiskey as against yeast declared in the SGD adding that another 1x40ft container no. TCLU172184/3 was also seized for carrying 60 pieces of used Chest freezers and 570 bundles of gas hose as against condenser for steam polysomic which he said amounted to false declaration and tantamount to outright seizure.
“After intensifying our operational modalities to meet up with the current smuggling tactics, we have intercepted various contraband with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of One billion, six hundred and eighteen million, one hundred and seventy-seven thousand, six hundred and sixty-one naira, fifty kobo (N1,618,177,661.50) between 1st and 31st January, 2018.
“Within the period under review, we also recovered Ninety-one million, three hundred and sixty-six thousand, four hundred and thirty-six (N91,366,436.00) making a cumulative of One billion, seven hundred and nine million, five hundred and forty-four thousand , nine-eight naira (N1,709,544, 098.00). In the spirit of inter-agency collaboration, the seized Indian Hemp will be handed over to NDLEA after this press briefing for further investigation”, he said.
Garba added that it is the responsibility of the Nigeria Customs Service to support the Federal Government’s policy on rice, encourage local rice farmers and the millers as well as patronize local rice so as to create employment opportunities for the citizens of this country
The Comptroller further appealed to the owners of the impounded vehicles to come forward with valid customs clearance documents for the vehicles otherwise the vehicles would be liable to outright seizure and subsequent forfeiture to the Federal Government in line with the laws of the land.
,what ever we are doin we have proof we are not just acting on our own , our action is in line with provisions of section 147 of Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) Cap 45, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 (power to search premises), Section 158 of CEMA, Cap 45, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (power to patrol freely)”he said