FOU ON RED ALERT !!!
Intercepts N2.5bn items, arrests 5 suspects
.Seizes N2bn Pangolin scales
.Impounds 16 exotic cars, brewery trucks with foreign rice
By Udeme Clement & Silas Onuoha
The Federal Operations Unit ,FOU, zone ‘A’ of Nigeria Customs Service ,NCS, is currently on red alert against smugglers within the zone, as the Unit intercepted prohibited items estimated at a Duty Paid Value ,DPV, of over N2.5billion within just two weeks. The Unit through intelligence arrested five suspects in connection with the seizures.
The Unit, which deployed its tactical operational modalities seized 16 exotic vehicles, mostly 2017 model, 12 trailers of foreign rice, 1,172 cartons of poultry products, 1,352 jerrycans of vegetable oil, 72 bales of used clothes, 464 pieces of used tyres, 407 sacks of Pangolin scales and 629 bundles of textile materials.
The Unit that has intensified onslaught against unrepentant smugglers also intercepted brewery trucks loaded with crates of beer, used in concealing large quantity of smuggled rice.
Remarkably among the seizures was the interception of eight trucks laden with 3,351 bags of rice and 669 jerrycans of vegetable oil along Iseyin, Oyo/Osun axis. The FOU operatives also evacuated 1,253 bags of rice from a warehouse in Ogbomosho based on credible intelligence. Despite resistance, the items were successfully evacuated.
Briefing maritime Journalists at Ikeja, the Customs Area Controller of FOU, Comptroller Mohammed Uba, disclosed that the Unit has expanded its scope of operations to outsmart the dare devil smugglers.
He said, “All the seizures you see here were recorded from March 1 – 19, 2018, making a total of 89 seizures. Five suspects have been arrested in connection with these seizures, because we are intensifying onslaught against economic saboteurs in zone ‘A’.
“Also, our Unit using intelligence driven approach evacuated 407 sacks of Pangolin scales weighing 10,263kg from a private home at 64 Opebi Road, off Toyin street, Ikeja, Lagos. The Pangolin attracts DPV of N2billion. In the spirit of inter-agency cooperation, the Pangolin scales and the suspect will be handed over to Nigeria Environment Standards and Regulatory Enforcement Agency ,NESREA, for further investigation, in order to protect our natural habitat.”
Responding to questions on the exotic vehicles, he said, “Among the detained vehicles are 2 Lexus Jeep (RS350 2016/2017 models), 1 Rolls Royce, 1 Lincoln Limousine (2014 model), 3 Toyota Camry (2009, 2013 and 2017 models), 1 Toyota Rav-4, 1 Toyota Avalon (2016 model), 1 Toyota Tundra, 1 Dodge among others. These 16 exotic vehicles alone have DPV of N340.7million.”
He pointed out, “While 6 vehicles were evacuated based on intelligence along Lekki Epe Expressway, the remaining 10 were intercepted while on information patrol at various locations. The vehicles are still under detention pending the grace period allowed for the owners to bring relevant Customs documents.”
The CAC enthused, “Let me use this opportunity to thank the Comptroller General of Customs ,CGC, Hameed Ali and the entire Management Team of the Service for appreciating us with a commendation letter and providing necessary logistics that brought about this feat. We are determined more than ever, to sustain this laudable performance by ensuring that we give economic saboteurs a run for their money”.