FOU Customs records over N1bn seizures
.Steps up operational surveillance to battle smugglers
By Joe Njuko
The Federal Operations Unit ,FOU, Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service ,NCS, has intercepted various contraband items with a Duty Paid Value ,DPV, of N1,035,232,046.13 in February, 2018.
The Unit has also stepped up its operational surveillance to battle smugglers in Zone A.
Addressing newsmen in Lagos, the Customs Area Controller ,CAC, of FOU, Comptroller Mohammed Uba, said that the seized goods include 18 assorted vehicles 4,201 bags of 50kg foreign rice, 2,619 cartons of frozen poultry products, 1,105 jerrycans of 25kg vegetable oil, 2,637 pieces of used tyres, 1,333 bales of used clothes, 2001 kg of pangolins, 343 kg of elephant tusks among others.
The statistics of detained vehicles include, 1 Roll Royce, Chrysler, Audi Q7 land rover HSE, Toyota Venza, Ford Taurus, Honda Gross tour, 4 Mercedes Benz, 3 Kia Rio and Escalade among others, ranging from 2008 to 2015 models.
According to him, “Some of the vehicles were intercepted along Ijebu-Ode expressway, while others were evacuated from a car mart, located at Lekki area of Lagos. The Warehouse Operations Team, led by Assistant Comptroller Mutalib Sule through intelligence raided an apartment at 38 Ogundana street, off Allen Avenue, Ikeja and seized 55 sacks of pangolin shells weighing 2001kg, valued at N408,319,317.6, 218 pieces of elephant tusks weighing 343kg and valued at N85,156,649.96 from the place.”
The CAC explained, “The Service has undoubtedly increased tremendously overtime, because of the implementation of different International Protocols and Conventions. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES 1973) entails that Customs Administrations globally protect wide-life by intercepting illegal trade on such animals. The Convention prevents killing of endangered species, as the tusks can only be available after killing of an Elephant and the Pangolin”.
Comptroller Uba who has recorded outstanding performance as the CAC of FOU also said that the seized tusks and Pangolins have been handed over to Nigeria Environment Standards and Regulatory Enforcement Agency ,NESREA, in the spirit of inter- agency collaboration for further investigation”.
His assertions: “For the avoidance of doubt, our action is in line with the provisions of Sections 147 of Customs and Excise Management Act ,CEMA, Cap 45, Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004 (Power to search premises), Section 158 of CEMA, Cap 45 (power to patrol freely)”.
In the same vein, 20ft container with No: CATU14096953 was seized for false declaration, even as 17 suspects including a Chinese national, Mr. KO ying were arrest in connection with the 90 seizures”.