Customs FOU declares smugglers enemies of Nigeria’s economy
.Seizes N1.1bn items
.Arrests 10 suspects
.Intercepts truck load of Codeine Cough syrup
.Impounds 21 exotic cars
By Udeme Clement
It was another rain of seizures at the Federal Operations Unit, FOU, Zone ‘A’ of Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, as the Customs Area Controller, CAC, Comptroller Mohammed Uba, conducted Journalists round numerous seizures recorded by the Unit in just few weeks (from June13 – July 24, 2018), with Duty Paid Value, DPV, of N1.1billion.
Briefing newsmen at FOU yesterday, standing in heavy rain, Comptroller Uba described smugglers bringing prohibited items illegally into the country against government trade policy as enemies of Nigeria’s economy, engaging in illicit trade to the detriment of the nation.
Uba who said the Comptroller-General of Customs, CGC Ali Hameed has equipped the Unit adequately with operational tools to curb smuggling in the zone, disclosed that 10 suspected were arrested in connection with the seized items.
Most remarkable among the seizures was the interception of an Iveco truck with registration number LAM283LG, along Ijebu Ode-Ore road with 498 cartons of CSP Codeine Cough Syrup. The substance is valued at N199.2million and two suspects already in FOU’s custody.
The seized items within this short period include 21 exotic vehicles, 9,504 bags of foreign rice (15 trailers), 436 jerrycans of vegetable oil, 333 cartons of frozen poultry products, 287 bales of used clothing, 198 pieces of used tyres, among many others.
The CAC spoke further, “Just as I told you in our last meeting, it is our obligation to support the Federal Government policy on local rice production, encourage our rice farmers, the millers and patronise our own nutritional rice. This has economic benefits of creating jobs for our youths and wealth for the country”.
His words, “Among the detained vehicles as you could see here include 1 Mercedes benz G-500 (2016), 6 Toyota Hiace Bus (2018), 3 Lexus Jeep GX460 and Lx570 (2017), 1 Toyota Hilux (2017 ), 1 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado,(2016), 1 Toyota Hilux bulletproof (2014), 1 Toyota Corolla (2018), 2 Toyota Camry (2016), 1 Honda Civic (2016), 1 Honda Accord (2016), 1 Dodge Charger (2016), among others. These 21 exotic vehicles have DPV of N484.4million”.
Comptroller Uba revealed, “Some of these vehicles were intercepted along Ijebu Ode expressway, 10 were evacuated from Oluwalogbon Motors, at 164 Awolowo Way Ikeja, based on credible information. As I speak to you, nobody has come to claim ownership.
“Let me use this opportunity to urge the owners of these vehicles to come forward with valid Customs clearance documents, otherwise, they would be liable to Seizure and subsequent forfeiture to government, in line with the laws of the land.
“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 Federation of Nigeria 2004 (power to search premises), and Section 158 of CEMA, Cap 45 Laws of Federation of Nigeria (power to patrol freely)”.
During this period, the Unit made underpayment recovery of N67.3million, making cumulative revenue of N1,188,090,009.
This is the first segment of the report. Watch out for more details in our subsequent reports!