Anti-smuggling surveillance: Customs FOU Zone ‘C’ intercepts 6 containers of unprocessed timber

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  • Arrests 2 suspects
  • ACG Kayode lauds FOU Zone ‘C’ Controller, officers for resilience

(By Udeme Clement)

Apparently, the anti-smuggling surveillance by officers of Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit (FOU), has Zone ‘C’, is yielding tremendous results, as the Unit intercepted three trucks conveying six 6×20ft containers of logs of unprocessed timber.

The Zonal Coordinator for Zone ‘C’, Ag. ACG Olusemire Kayode, displayed the intercepted items, at the zonal headquarters, Port Harcourt on Monday, even as he disclosed that two suspects were arrested in connection to the seized timber.

Ag. ACG Kayode, explained that exportation of unprocessed timber contravenes schedule 6 of the Extant Common External Tariff (CET), adding that deforestation comes with negative effects, such as desert encroachment and environmental degradation.

He said: “when tree felling is not checkmated, the ecosystem and its biodiversity are left to suffer.”

Speaking further, the Zonal Coordinator decried economic losses brought upon Nigeria with the exportation of unprocessed logs, pointing out that employment creation, which results from local processing of the logs is vital for Nigeria’s teeming youth.

He commended the Customs Area Controller (CAC), of FOU Zone ‘C’, Comptroller Yusuf LAWAL Psc+ and officers of the Unit for their resilience, doggedness and steadfastness in tackling smuggling. Also, he cautioned against senseless attacks on Customs operatives carrying out their legitimate duties.

His assertions: “On July 16, 2021 at about 2.00pm, one of the surveillance teams of FOU Zone ‘C’, acting on credible intelligence trailed and intercepted three trucks conveying 6×20ft containers of logs of rough timber, along industrial road, Port- Harcourt.

” We also arrested two suspected smugglers, who attempted to export the unprocessed logs but they had been released on administrative bail.

” Exportation of rough timber which contravenes schedule 6 of the extant CET comes with negative economic and environmental effects and must not be condoned”.

Also speaking, the FOU Zone ‘C’ controller, Comptroller Yusuf Lawal psc+ said that the logs were about to be smuggled out of the country without clearance from the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC).

He gave the marks and numbers of the containers to include MSCU-3470637, MSDU-1497355, MEDU-9739916, MEDU-5627573, MSDU-6248794 and MEDU-6792783.

His words : “NEPC is an agency of Government, which takes note of products meant for exportation, so that the proceeds can be repatriated accordingly.

” Unfortunately NEPC is not aware of these logs and has not issued any Nigeria Export Proceeds form, further confirming therefore, that the logs were about to be smuggled out “, he said.

He however urged Nigerians to assist the Service with relevant information to aid its activities for the general good of the nation’s economy..

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