Customs FOU intercepts 35 live ammunition, Military wears, pump action rifle, guns

The CAC and his team showing the seized gun

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Customs FOU intercepts 35 live ammunition, Military wears, pump action rifle, guns

* Makes N622,4million seizures

* Arrests 5 suspects

The CAC and his team showing the seized gun

The Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘A’ of Nigeria Customs Service has made mind-boggling seizures of 10 Military Camouflage bags; one unit of pump action rifle, two units of locally made guns and 35 live cartridges.

The Unit also seized 1,955 bales of used clothes uncovered in abandoned building around Lagos International Trade Fair Complex.

The massive seizure of 1,955 bales of used clothes is unprecedented in anti-smuggling records of the service in 2022.

Massive seizure of second-hand clothes

Addressing Journalists during press conference in Lagos, the Customs Area Controller of the Unit, Compt Hussein Ejibunu, described it as the highest single seizure of used clothes made by the service this year, stressing that the items were intercepted in September 2022.

While taking Journalists round the Unit, Compt Ejibunu unveiled other seized prohibited items worth over
N622.4million in Duty Paid Value (DPV), made by his team within the period under review.

These Include 7,328 bags of foreign parboiled rice (50kg each); 121,550 litres of premium motor spirit; 68 cartons of frozen poultry products; 37 crates of eggs used to conceal rice; 150kg parcels of Indian Hemp; and six units of used cars (Tokunbo).

The CAC revealed that the Unit arrested five suspects in connection with some seizures.

Most remarkably, the Unit though not a revenue generating formation, recovered over N107.8million into the federation account, in a bid to prevent revenue losses to government.

He said : “Customs FOU dealt onslaught on smugglers and their collaborators. September marked the end of third quarter leading us closer to the end of the year, when smugglers show more desperation.

“We made discovery and evacuation of the used clothes using combined strategies of intelligence, tact and enforcement. This is the highest single seizure of used clothes made by the service this year.

“We have commenced investigation to know those behind this massive importation, and at what entry point these clothes came into the country.
Used clothes in commercial quantity falls under absolute prohibition.

“They have been seized and we are on the trail of smugglers to get them arrested. Smuggling of used clothes has economic and health implications on our people. The government in it wisdom wants the local textile industry to enjoy protection and create more jobs for Nigerians from the cotton farms through textile and garment factories to our markets.
The very serious health implication of this act of textile smuggling is exposure of users to skin diseases like scabies and fungal diseases transmitted by wearing unwashed second-hand clothes.

“This is coming at a time when the world is wary of monkey pox, which mode of transmission includes clothing. According to a World Health Organisation fact-sheet, “Monkeypox” is transmitted to humans through close contact with infected persons or animals, or with material contaminated with the virus.
“Monkeypox virus” is transmitted from one person to another by close contact with body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials.

“It is a viral zoonotic disease that occurs primarily in tropical rainforest areas of central and west Africa and is occasionally exported to other regions”

He informed :  “Also within the same period, a large cache of premium motor spirit (PMS) ingeniously concealed inside sacks was intercepted at Badagry Axis of Lagos State.

“Interestingly, the Federal High Court passed three judgements in favour of this Unit on three criminal cases; securing the conviction of six people for being in possession of smuggled goods; while six civil suits against the Unit were dismissed for lack of merit.”

He pointed out :  “For the seized petroleum products, we have gotten them safely disposed due to their volatile nature. I want to advise patriotic members of border communities through which petrol is smuggled to report to us for timely interception, seizure and arrests.
These quantities of petroleum products in the hands of smugglers could burn down communities, endanger lives and property in the event of fire.

“We are aware that smugglers desperation rises towards the yuletide period. In view of this, we are strategising ahead of them, not only to seize their wares but also to arrest and make them face prosecution.

“Presently, there is full deployment of our manpower and logistics to achieve our goals. The law we enforce is no respecter of anyone, neither does it accept ignorance as an excuse for violation.”

He enthused : “We are very grateful to the Comptroller-General of Customs, CGC Hameed Ibrahim Ali and his management team; who made our exploits possible because of their support, encouragement and provision.”

One of the pictures taken during press conference
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