FOU Customs seize over N2bn contraband, 22 exotic cars
.Arrests 28 suspects
By Udeme Clement
The Federal Operations Unit, FOU, Zone ‘A’ of Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, has intercepted 22 exotic vehicles and prohibited items with a Duty Paid Value, DPV, of over N2billion in its operations, from September 4 to October 3, 2018.
The Unit swiftly arrested 28 suspects in connection with 89 seizures during the period under review.
This formed part of the press release made available to Financial Business, by the Public Relations Officer, PRO, of the Command, Mr. Jerry Attah, revealing that the Unit recorded these successes after reviewing its operational modalities towards sustaining the statutory mandate of anti smuggling operations.
Financial Business learnt that the 22 exotic vehicles alone have DPV of N1.1billion. Some of the vehicles were intercepted at Ogere and Ijebu Ode expressway, while the bullet proof vehicles were trailed and evacuated from some private homes in Victoria Island based on credible information.
The words of the Customs Area Controller, CAC, of FOU, Zone ‘A’, Comptroller Mohammed Aliyu, “The Unit within the period under review intercepted various contrabands with DPV of over N2billion. The seized items include, 22 exotic vehicles, 11,303 bags of foreign rice (equivalent of 18 trailers), 2,410 frozen poultry products, 853 jerrycans of vegetable oil, 245 parcels of Indian Hemp, 4x40ft containers of unprocessed wood, 2,017 bales of used clothing, 283 cartons of various pharmaceuticals, all without NAFDAC registration number, among others”.
The CAC pointed out, “The 22 vehicles under detention/seizure are; nine bullet proof vehicles including 4 Lexus Jeep LX570 (2016),3 Land Cruiser Jeeps (2016) and 2 Mercedes Benz G63 and S550 (2014/2015), others include: 1 Toyota Rav4 (2015), 3 Toyota Hilux (2018), 2 Toyota Highlander(2018),1 Toyota Prado (2018) 1 Toyota Land cruiser (2016), 1 Toyota Corolla, 1 Toyota Fortuner (2017), 1 Toyota Sequoia, 1 Lexus RX 350, among others..
“These 22 exotic vehicles alone have DPV of N1.1billion. While some of the vehicles were intercepted at Ogere and Ijebu Ode expressway, the bullet proof vehicles were trailed and evacuated from some private residence in Victoria Island based on credible information.
“Similarly, the Unit through our interventions recovered N220million from demand notices on vehicles and other general goods that tried to cut corners from seaports, airport and border stations in the guise of false declaration, transfer of value, and shortchange in duty payment meant for the Federal Government, making a cumulative of N2.2billion within the weeks under review”.
The CAC stated, “Smuggling is a global phenomenon, which cannot be curbed entirely but could be brought to its barest minimum. Let me use this opportunity to praise the commitment and diligence of the officers and men of FOU A, for thwarting the antics of dare devil smugglers. I urge the media and the public to join us in the fight against smuggling, considering the economic diversification effort of government, which is for the good of all Nigerians.
“In the spirit of inter-agency collaboration, the seized Indian hemp and Medicaments would be handed over to NDLEA and NAFDAC for thorough investigation. Let me advise those economic saboteurs who see yuletide season as a peak period for their nefarious acts to desist from such illegal business, as the Unit has devised other tactical strategies to chase them out of such illegalities.
“Let me thank the Comptroller-General of Customs, CGC, Hameed Ali, for providing necessary incentives and logistics that brought about this feat and for believing in my capacity to take this Unit forward”.