Customs at FOU seizes N1.6bn items
.Arrests 10 suspects
.Records highest seizure of cannabis sativa
By Udeme Clement
The Federal Operations Unit ,FOU, Zone ‘A’ of Nigeria Customs Service ,NCS, is in the news again for massive seizures of prohibited items estimated at the Duty Paid Value ,DPV, of N1.4billion, even as the Unit arrested 10 suspected in connection with 86 seizures.
Also, the Unit through it intervention recovered N166.2milliion from duty payments and demand notices on general goods from seaports, airport and border stations through wrong classification, transfer of value and shortchange in duty payment to government, making a cumulative of over N1.6billion recorded within just three weeks of operations (from March 19th to April 9th, 2018).
The large number of seizures recorded at this short period include 64 exotic vehicles, 6003 bags of foreign rice (equivalent to 10 trailers), 963 cartons of poultry products, 431 gallons of vegetable oil, 163 bales of used clothes, 569 used tyres and 69 bags of sugar among other items.
Most remarkably was the seizure of 570 parcels as well as 98 big sacks of Cannabis Sativa weighing 1,550kg, which the Customs Area Controller ,CAC, of FOU, Comptroller Mohammed Uba disclosed was the highest seizure of hard drugs recorded in the history of FOU as a Unit.
Comptroller Uba further revealed that the hard drugs were seized along Olorunda axis of Ogun State, based on intelligence signal.
He stressed, “You all know what would have happened if this large quantity of Indian Hemp got into wrong hands undetected. In the spirit of interagency collaboration, the seized hard drugs will be handed over to NDLEA for further investigation”.
Comptroller Uba pointed out, “Worthy of note is the evacuation of 2,671 bags of foreign rice, using nine hired trucks from nine makeshift storage facilities in Ilogbo, Abeokuta based on credible intelligence. The items were seized despite resistance. The operation was led by the Lagos Roving Team along with other Teams from the Unit.”
He went on, “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 government policies banning importation of rice and other prohibited goods through land borders regardless of any situation, so as to encourage efficiency in local rice production, which will create more jobs for our youths.”
Comptroller Uba enthused, “I want to use this opportunity to thank the Comptroller General of Customs ,CGC, Ali Hameed, and his entire management team for their support and provision of logistics that greatly enhanced our operations. I am also thanking all officers of FOU and sister agencies, most especially the Army, Police, for their support, resilience and doggedness that brought about this feat”.
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(This is the first segment of this report, more details and pictures on FOU’s massive seizures will be published on our online news platform tomorrow).