Customs in Owerri records over N442million seizures
.Intercepts exotic cars, furniture
.Seizes foreign rice conceal in cement truck
By Udeme Clement
The Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Federal Operations Unit, FOU, Zone ‘C’, Owerri, has recorded seizures worth over N442million in Duty Paid Value, DPV.
This remarkable performance shows continuous success in anti-smuggling operations by FOU, Zone ‘C’, covering the entire South/South and South/East geopolitical zone.
Addressing news men during a press briefing, in Government warehouse Aduwawa Benin Edo State, the Customs Area Controller, CAC, of FOU Zone ‘C’ Owerri, Comptroller Olusemire Kayode unveiled seizures of exotic cars, foreign rice, used cars and furniture, among other items recorded by the Unit through intelligence.
Comptroller Kayode also revealed that the items were seized during operations along Benin axis from January to March, 2019.
The CAC who expressed strong displeasure on the activities of smugglers, emphasized, “Despite several appeals for smugglers to turn a new leaf, some are still bent on sabotaging the economy of the nation. But, we must continue to enforce government policies to protect our local industries”.
He pointed out, “The rising compliance level had suffered a setback, going by the number of seizures recorded from January till date”.
Comptroller Kayode explained, “Cars and rice are not prohibited items. Their importation should be processed through the seaport and not through the land borders. That is what the law says.”
He enthused, “The Federal Government is working tirelessly towards self sufficiency on rice production but some people are working against government’s initiative by smuggling rice through the land borders. From Calabar to Maidugri, Sokoto to Lagos, there is arable land to cultivate and harvest rice.
“Some people want to make money quickly, so they sabotage the economy and frustrate government efforts. Stop wasting your money and stop wasting your time, because our officers and men are equipped to stop these nefarious activities”.
While displaying some bags of rice concealed in a cement truck, the Comptroller explained that such action is injurious to the health and well-being of consumers.
His assertions, “Look at the Rolls Royce that they tried to smuggle through the bush. I do not know what to say about the person who did this. Whoever has the money to import this is bourgeoisie, so why would he want to sabotage the economy by not paying appropriate duty?
“There is also the Brabus G Wagon intercepted without payment of duty. We need to appeal to our conscience to move this country ahead. Brand new and used luxury vehicles that are bullet proof should come with End-User-Certificate from the National Security Adviser”.
He advised, “If you want to buy any vehicle, obtain the C number and take it to any Customs formation, to ascertain the payment of duty on the car. Stop complaining of ignorance when you are caught”.
The CAC informed, “Whoever that is bringing in goods should be prepared to pay duty. You can see that the warehouse is filled with seizures worth billions of naira. So, let us desist and save money for legitimate trade through payment of appropriate duty.
“Arrests were made in all the seizures but the suspects have all been granted administrative bail”.
He explained that government has a lot of attractive programmes for agriculture and urged Nigerians to tap into the initiative for economic growth.
While displaying 40ft container of furniture declared as used vehicles, he explained that false declaration is an infraction on extant laws aimed at evading appropriate payment of duty.
He commended the officers and men of the Unit for their dedication and hard work, adding that, “We are dedicated, even during the general election, we combined election duties and our anti-smuggling activities.
“The Rolls Royce and some of the vehicles were picked up on election day. You know that movement was restricted on Election Day. So, smugglers thought that would be the best time to move the vehicles. But despite the fact that we were involved in the election duties, we still carried out our statutory duty and were able to intercept the vehicles.”
This is segment-One report:
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