A rage against smugglers :
Customs FOU seizes pistol pouches bulletproof jackets, jack knives
…Arrests 13 suspects
The Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone ‘A’ of Nigeria Customs Service, has demonstrated superior intelligence against economic saboteurs within its area of responsibility, as its operatives seized 15 bulletproof jackets, 15 jack knives and 20 pistol pouches.
The prohibited items were uncovered in a Toyota Sienna, at a checkpoint in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, even as FOU operatives swiftly arrested the driver of the vehicle.
Addressing Journalists during a press conference, yesterday, the
Customs Area Controller (CAC) of the Unit, Compt Hussein Ejibunu, said their timely intervention in seizing the offensive items becomes imperative, in recognition of the responsibility bestowed on FOU to suppress smuggling, block revenue leakages, facilitate legitimate trade, collect revenue and contribute to national security.
He added : “Consequent to this commitment, I want to highlight the most recent achievements of this Unit in our continuous efforts to suppress smuggling and safeguard national security.
“Within July 2023, the sedulousness of our officers led to interception of 15 bulletproof jackets, 15 jack knives and 20 pistol pouches inside a Toyota Sienna Bus in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State.
“The driver of the vehicle was arrested in connection with the seizures”.
The Area Controller went on : “It is pertinent to know that importation of all forms of bulletproof materials; such as vests, ballistic materials, vehicles, as well as parts, accessories for all Military armaments, hardware such as guns, arms and ammunition of all kinds; lethal and non-lethal requires end-user certificate.
“End-user certificate is issued by the office of the National Security Adviser, which loses its validity after one year from the issuance date. Hence, anyone importing a controlled item must do so within the validity period of the end-user certificate.”
He continued : “Seizures recorded within the period under review are a reflection of officers’ commitment to duty, no compromise posture in the discharge of our statutory responsibilities; aimed at protecting the national economy and preventing importation of prohibited and harmful goods.
“This success story will not be complete without my expression of gratitude to the Comptroller-General of Customs, CGC Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, whose maiden working visit to the Unit was a morale booster.
“I also use this medium to thank him and members of the management team for stoking our logistics for more gainful performance. 50 seizures were made within the period under review for non-compliance with the extant Customs laws.
“Notable among the seizures made are: 5,642 X 50kg bags of foreign parboiled rice (equivalent to 9 trailer loads); 18,925 litres (757 X 25 litres jerrycans of premium motor spirit); 20 pistol pouches; 15 bulletproof jackets; 15 jack knives; 49 cartons of children school shoes; 181(87 kg) parcels of Indian Hemp; 357 kegs X 5 litres of vegetable oil; onr unit of Honda Motorcycle and two used (Tokumbo) vehicles ”
He revealed : “The total duty paid value (DPV) of the seized goods stood at N462.7million; while the sum of N66,493,346.41 (approximately N66.5million) was recovered as revenue into the federation account, through the issuance of demand notices (DN) on Customs duties discovered to be underpaid.
“13 suspects were arrested in connection with some of the seizures, and are at different stages of investigations and prosecution”.
In the same vein, the Unit also handed over three suspects and cannabis sativa with a net weight of 7,728 kilogrammes to officials of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Lagos State Command; for further investigation and prosecution.