Economic sabotage :
Customs FOU Zone ‘A’ on red alert !!!
* Records N818.1million seizures in one month
* Thwarts attempt by smugglers to bring in rice concealed with sand
* Seizures of 16 trucks of rice, 41,950 litres of petrol, contraband worth over N818.1million in photo news
The dare-devil smugglers sabotaging the nation’s economy through illicit trade must have a rethink and embrace legitimate business, or be ready to face the wrath of the law, as Customs at Federal Operations Unit, FOU, Zone ‘A’ is on red alert along the ports and border corridors to protect the economy.
Our News inquest revealed that FOU Zone ‘A’ under the watch of DC Hussein Ejibunu, as Customs Area Controller (CAC), is rejigging its operational strategies constantly to keep the Unit several steps ahead of smugglers.
For instance, illicit traders, who tried to penetrate through the waterways met a brick wall, as the Unit’s collaboration with Western Marine Command resulted in successful seizure of large quantities of foreign rice smuggled in with boats.
Even those who concealed smuggled rice in trucks loaded with sand to outsmart the officers, had all the bags of rice seized, as DC Ejibunu and his Men uncovered them with their Eagle-Eye.
The Unit also apprehended 14 suspects in connection with the seizures.
Aside preventing attempt by smugglers to bring in rice concealed with sand, the Unit also intercepted rice smuggled through the border axis with Motorcycles (popularly known as Okada).
In the month of May, 2022 alone, the Unit seized over 16 trucks of rice (9,917 bags) and other prohibited items worth over N818.1 million in Duty Paid Value (DPV).
Addressing Journalists during a press conference last Thursday, the CAC disclosed that the Unit after thorough documentary checks, raked in N64,297,916.23 (approximately N64.3million), as revenue recovered from duty under-payment.
Speaking further, DC Ejibunu advised Nigerians not to consume smuggled rice and other food items subjected to unhygienic conditions, as such items pose serious health hazards to the body.
Other items seized within the same period include 1,041 bales of second-hand clothes; 41,950 litres of petrol;
54 cartons of creams; 42 generators; 3,260 pairs of used shoes;
basmati rice; 8,500 used tyres; 599 cartons of frozen poultry products; cannabis sativa and
29 motorcycle, among many others.
The CAC said :
“I’m using this opportunity to thank patriotic Nigerians, who gave information that led to these seizures. Our gratitude also goes to all compliant agents, importers and traders for their patriotism.
While we appreciate your sense of patriotism, we shall never relent in facilitating legitimate businesses for optimum economic growth and development”.
Our correspondent captured the press briefing in photo news as shown below :