Customs Arrests 11 Over N671m Contraband Goods
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A, has intercepted goods worth N671 million in October.
The acting Controller of the unit, Mr Hussein Ejibunu, said this at a news conference on Wednesday in Lagos.
Ejibunu said the goods were seized along the borders and port corridors within the South West zone.
He also said the unit recovered N42.3 million from under-declaration of goods imported into the country in the period under review.
“This amount would have been lost to individuals, if not for the diligent and meticulous documentary checks by officers of this unit.
“Eleven suspects were arrested in connection with the seizure and are at various stages of investigation,” he said.
He listed the seized items as 7,403 bags of 50kg of foreign parboiled rice; 53,759 litres of petroleum motor spirit; 121 cartons of frozen poultry product; 724 bales of used second hand clothings; and three units of used motorcycles.
Ejibunu added that the unit also seized 97 pieces of used tyres; 162 (96kg) parcels of Indian Hemp; 11 kegs of 25 litres of vegetable oil; 13 units of used fridges, and 3,116 pieces of cutlass.
Others items, he said, include 700 rolls of cigarettes; 23 cartons of dates; ninr units of vehicles and 21/40 containers of charcoal.
“Having understood the unrepentant nature of some economic saboteurs’ increased desperation to smuggle and their quest to acquire wealth ahead of the festive period, this unit has remained resolute in enforcing compliance with the Federal Government fiscal policies, Customs and Excise laws.
“While doing this, we have evolved better strategies of being ahead of them; not only to seize their wares, but to get them arrested and prosecuted.
“Smuggling in whatever guise or form, is an illegal activity that constitutes a crime against Customs extant laws,” he said.
He noted that smuggling compromises national security and robs the nation of its revenue.
He warned smugglers to repent from their nefarious activities, vowing that the Customs would not relent in its efforts at ridding the zone of smugglers.
He said that the achievements recorded by the unit was possible with the enabling powers of sections: 158, sections 160 – 163 of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA), Cap C45 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 as amended.
Ejibunu appealed to the trading community to be patriotic by making sincere declarations, and paying the maximum duties/levies payable to the Federal Government.
He warned that anyone found culpable of the aforementioned would be prosecuted as prescribed by the extant laws.