Federal Operations Unit Zone A Ikeja,of the Nigeria Customs Service has intercepted various contraband with duty paid value(DPV) of One Billion, four Hundred and Sixty One Million, Six Thousand, Eight Hundred and Twenty-three Naira, Eight Kobo(N1,461,006,823.8).
Addressing newsmen in Lagos, the Customs Area Comptroller, Comptroller Mohammed Uba said the seizure was made between 19th March to 9th April
According to him, items seized include Indian hemp, 64 exotic vehicles, 6003 bags of foreign parboiled rice, 963 cartons of frozen poultry products, 43 jerrycans of vegetable oil, 163 bail of used clothing, 569 pieces of used tyres and 69 bags of sugar.
Others include another 570 parcels and 98 sacks of Indian hemp weighing 1,550kg along Olorunda area of Ondo State being the highest seizure of such hard drugs in the history of FOU, adding that in the spirit of inter-agency relationship, the items would be handed over to NDLEA for further investigation.
Comptroller Mohammed also said the Unit recovered One Hundred and Sixty Six Million, Two Hundred and Seven Thousand, Seven Hundred and Thirty Five Naira, Twenty Five kobo ( N166,207,735.25) from duty payments and demand notices on general goods from sea ports, airport and border stations through wrong classification, transfer of value, and shortchanged in duty payment, making it a cumulative sum of One Billion, Six Hundred and Twenty Seven Million, Two Hundred and Fourteen Thousand, Five Hundred and Fifty Nine Naira(N1,627,214,559) within the weeks under review.
The FOU boss further affirmed that the Zone evacuated 2,671 bags of 50kg rice from 9 makeshift storage houses in Ilogbo, Abeokuta by the Lagos Roving Team with the efforts of other teams based on intelligence report despite resistance.
“Recently there was mob attack against our operatives but that never deterred us from performing our statutory responsibilities. Thank God there was no casualty. We will continue to enforce the federal government policies banning the importation of rice and other prohibited goods through the land borders regardless of any situation so as to encourage efficiency in local rice production.
“Among the 13 detained vehicles include, 1 Toyota Land Cruiser ( 2018), 1 Escalade Cardiac(2017), 1 Range Rover (2014), 3 Toyota Camry (2009,2010 and 2017 models), 1 Toyota Rave, 1 Toyota Highlander (2014), 1 Honda CRV, 1 Honda Accord, 1BMW Salon, 1 Toyota Sienna, 1Hyundai, among others with DPV of N258, 137,766.98. The vehicles are still under detention pending the grace period allowed for the owners to bring relevant Customs document. It will interest you to know that among the detained vehicles in our previous briefing, 64 have been converted to seizure after all necessary legal procedures were followed within the week under review and are awaiting Court Condemnation.
“Additional four containers were seized for different Customs breaches in the importation process. The 1×20ft container No CSNU 106087/4 carried 2,260 cartons of CONGA Spaghetti made in Turkey and 530 packages of Rifle Energy drinks made in Europe.
“All those found culpable will face the full wrath of the law. While 1×40 ft container no PCIU 865957/1 was seized for carrying 200 cartons of ladies shoes, 134 cartons of children secondhand wears among other items as against keyboard and mouse declared in the SGD. 1 ×40 ft container no FCIU 80992/0 was seized for carrying 2,300 cartons of Tiffany Chocolate, 385 cartons of Tiffany Crunch n cream biscuits as against “Tapet for fuel pump complete”. These are clear cases of false declarations, liable to seizure of forfeiture”, he said.
Comptroller Uba however used the opportunity to warn smugglers including their accomplices to desist from such malpractice and invest their money on legitimate business as the unit has devised other operational modalities to track them, adding that 10 suspects were arrested in connection to these seizures.