As part of its anti-smuggling activities, the Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘A’ of Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has seized numerous contrabands including vehicles, foreign parboiled rice, hard drugs, among others worth N813million in August.
These seizures are; 6,911 x 50kg bags of Foreign Parboiled Rice aggregating to more than 11 truck-loads as well as other sundry items including 345 kg of Indian Hemp, 486 cartons of frozen poultry products and 368 pieces of used tyres.
The Area Controller, FOU Zone ‘A’, Lagos, Deputy Comptroller Kehinde Hussein Ejibunu, announced about 91 seizures recorded within the month of August 2023 even as 12 suspects were apprehended.
Other seizures the Customs boss disclosed are; 394 cartons of Codeine, 13 used vehicles (Tokunbo vehicles) 32 cartons of expired batteries, 1 X 40 ft container FTC, one used Toyota Corolla and 49 pieces of car rims.
Also confiscated are; 552 pieces of used car tyres, 205 pieces of used truck tyres and 32 pieces of motorcycle tyres; 292 bales of ‘tokunbo clothes’ as well as 13,525 litres of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS. The CAC announced that the cumulative duty payment value (DPV) of the entire seizures stands at N813,058,345.
Ejibunu also highlighted the dangers inherent in the importation of Indian Hemp (Cannabis Sativa) because of its effect on increase in criminal activities which people, especially the youths, now see as a pastime.
“Similarly, the importation of foreign parboiled rice and poultry products is an adversary to the economy of the local farmers. Smuggling of prohibited items such as used shoes, illicit drugs, used clothes and used tyres are giving serious health concerns.”
“On our part, we shall continue to partner with well-meaning citizens by soliciting for timely and useful information to curb smuggling. While we advise members of the public to be guided by the Import and Export Prohibition Lists for compliance.”
“It is sad to note that some Nigerians would pay all duties and levies payable to the Customs authorities of other countries they import from, while they make conscious efforts to evade such payments into the federal government coffers,” he said.
Speaking on revenue generation, he noted that the sum of N81,449,373.38 was made through documentary checks and issuance of demand notices on consignments that were found to have been short-paid.
He thanked all patriotic Nigerians that provided useful information that led to some arrests and the compliant traders and importers who comply with extant laws. He advised the recalcitrant ones to stop because what they are doing is criminal.