The battle line has been drawn, as the Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A, of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Ikeja lagos is out to eliminate smuggling activities in the country , the command on Wednesday announced seizure worth N1.103bn for the month of February.
Some of the seized goods includes 18 assorted vehicles, 4,201 bags of foreign parboiled rice, 2,619 cartons of frozen poultry products, 1,105 jerrycans of vegetable oil, 2,637 pieces of used tyres, 1,333 used clothings, 2,001 pangolin and 343 kg of elephant tusks.
The the intercepted cars were 1 Rolls Royce, 1 Chrysler, 1 Audi Q7, Land Rover and other assorted vehicles ranging from 2008 to 2015 model.
Addressing journalist at the command, the Customs Area Comptroller, Mr Mohammed Uba Garba said that some of the vehicles were intercepted along Ijebu Ode Expressway while others were evacuated from a car mart located in Lekki ,and 17 suspects have been arrested so far.
Garba said that the 55 pangoline shell weighing 2001kg were valued at N408.3million while 218 elephant tusks were valued at N85.1million.
The Comptroller expressed his dissatisfaction at the way some people are killing elephants and trading on the tusks, he added that this was against international convention as the customs administration globally is to protects wild life by intercepting illegal trade on such animals.
Comptroller garber handed over the seized pangolin and elephant tusks to officials of Nigeria Environment Standards and Regulatory Enforcement Agency (NESREA) for further investigation and necessary action.
Lagos Coordinator of NESREA, Mr Nosa Aigbedion who was present at the Customs Warehouse ikeja to receive the seized items
Nosa promised to continue talking prompt action on such issue, as NESREA will prosecute the suspects involved in the illegal trade.
Garba further disclosed that the Customs Unit seized a 20ft container for false declaration, adding that 17 suspects were arrested in connection with 90 seizured goods
Among the suspects was a Chinese national, Mr Ko Sin Ying.
He added that the Unit recovered N67.9million from demand notices (DN) raised on goods intercepted from those who attempted to defraud the government through under declaration.