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N1.1bn seizures: FOU talks tough
.Says economic saboteurs will continue to incur losses
.Warns against importation of harmful pharmaceutical products
By Chinonye Anyatonwu
The Customs Area Controller, CAC, Federal Operations Unit, FOU, Zone ‘A’ of Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Comptroller Mohammed Uba is still talking tough after the seizures of over N1.1billion prohibited items recorded by the Unit in just few weeks.
The CAC stated emphatically that smugglers are economic saboteurs working against the efforts of government in growing the economy; therefore, they must continue to incur losses, as Customs would not hesitate to seize their items, arrest and prosecute them according to the law.
Speaking further on the mind boggling seizures recorded by the Unit from June13 – July 24, 2018 fiscal year, the CAC said that Customs officers under the watch of the Comptroller-General of Customs, CGC, Ali Hameed are well trained to carry out their core functions effectively.
He also revealed that 10 suspects have been arrested in connection with the seized items.
The CAC warned against importation of harmful pharmaceutical products banned by government into the country.
Comptroller Uba said, “Items seized within the period under review 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 others.
“Among the detained vehicles are 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 explained, “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.
“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 CAC went on, “Following the Presidential directive, CGC Ali Hameed has directed evacuation and distribution from our warehouse the following items for onward delivery to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Borno State by the Nigerian Army Corps of Supply and Transport (NACST); 11,579 bags of foreign parboiled rice 50 kg each, 627 and 485 jerrycans of vegetable oil 25ltrs and 5ltrs respectively, 248 bales and 219 sacks of used clothing, and 33 sacks of used shoes’.
“Let me seize this opportunity to express our dismay over incessant attacks on our officers. Just as the CGC has directed, we would continue to make sure we defend ourselves at all times. We won’t tolerate such excesses from smugglers and their accomplices.
“I also wish to advise the public not to allow themselves be used as shield by smugglers, most especially the host communities. No amount of resistance from smugglers and their mob accomplices would deter us from performing our statutory responsibilities in all aspects, especially in anti-smuggling”.