Customs Strike Force makes mind-boggling seizures
* Intercepts 13 containers, items worth over N800million in 3 weeks
*We are battle-ready for economic saboteurs- Says DC Shuaibu
(By Udeme Clement):
The Co-ordinator of Customs Strike Force covering zone ‘A’, DC A.B. Shuaibu and his team have made mind-boggling seizures worth over N800million in Duty Paid Value (DPV), within just three weeks of operations.
The Strike Force team through intelligence intercepted 13 containers fully loaded with various items.
The seizures include 40ft container filled with 934 cartons of shoes worth N32.6million in DPV; 756 bales of Lace materials worth N47.7million but falsely declared by the importer; large quantities of rice; 2,120 cartons of foreign cream and soap without NAFDAC registration number worth N25.7 million in DPV; 230 bales of secondhand clothing with DPV of N23.5million; among other items.
DC Shuaibu unveiled the items before Journalists at Lagos Training College, Ikeja, during a press conference yesterday.
He explained that while some containers carried prohibited items, others had goods that were falsely declared by importers in a deliberate attempt to evade duty payment and taxes to the Federal Government.
His explanation :
The Strike Force in Zone ‘A’ has two units, such as the ICT and Enforcement. Through ICT intervention we recorded seizures with DPV of over N350million. We seized 13 containers of goods in three weeks and the total DPV is N800million.
“We are determined to fight economic saboteurs and trail them to their warehouses. We are taking the war against smugglling to every part of the Zone. For instance, Lace material is not contraband but this container load of 756 bales of Lace was seized for false declaration.
“Imagine N25.7million worth of foreign cream and soap coming into the country without NAFDAC number. This involves National security because any product without NAFDAC number has health hazards.”
Responding to questions on his personal safety, should smugglers attack him for giving them a hard time, he said, “A man is not afraid to die for a life worth living”.
Also speaking, the Customs National Public Relations Officer, DC Joseph Attah, pointed out, “Smuggling is not only about bringing in prohibited items into the country illegally. But it includes false declaration on dutiable goods by importers with the intention to evade payment of appropriate duty to government.
“Therefore, Customs saddled with the responsibility of collecting revenue for government must intervene to block attempt by importers refusing to pay duty on trade goods.
DC Attah emphasised: “Refusal to pay duty deprives government of funds to provide infrastructure for economic growth and development”.
*Observation at the scene*:
During the press conference, our Correspondent observed that massive seizures of various items were seen at the premises.