By Ajibola Abayomi,
It was another sad story for smugglers on Wednesday as men of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), from the Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A, Ikeja announced another huge seizure of contraband worth of N1,461,00,823.8 (One billion four hundred and sixty one thousand, eight hundred and twenty three naira, eight kobo.)
The items include Indian hemp, 64 exotic cars, 6003 bags of foreign rice (equivalent of 10 trailers) 963 cartons of frozen chicken poultry products, 431 jerrycans of vegetable oil, 163 bales of used clothing, 569 pieces of used tyres, 69 bags of sugar, four containers among others.
According to the FOU, 10 suspects were arrested in connection with the seizures.
The goods were intercepted between March 19 and April 2018.
Controller FOU, Mohammed Uba explained that his men recovered N166, 207, 735.25 in the month of March alone from duty payments and demand notices on general goods from seaports, airport and border stations through classification, transfer of value and shortchange in the duty payment meant for the Federal Government.
He added that the cumulative revenue accruable from the command within the weeks under review was put at N1, 627,214,559.
Uba said that a total of 570 parcels of 98 sacks of Indian hemp weighing 1,550kg were seized along Olorunda axis of Ogun State based on intelligence report.
According to him, it was the highest seizure of such hard drugs in the history of FOU.
“There was mob attack against our operatives but that never deterred us from performing our statutory responsibilities. Thank God there was no casualty. We will continue to enforce the federal government policies banning the importation of rice and other prohibited goods through the land borders regardless of any situation as as to encourage efficiency in local rice production which will create more employment opportunities for our teaming youths” he said.
Not only that, he also said the command seized two additional containers 3x40fit and 1x20ft for different customs breaches in the importation process.
The 1x20fit container no: CSNU 1060887/4 carried 2,260 cartons of Gonca Spagetti made in Turkey and 530 packages of riffle energy drinks made in Europe as against baking powder declared in the importation form.
Uba warned that “all smugglers and intending ones and their compliances should desist from such trade malpractices and invest their money in legitimate business.
“The unit has devised operational modalities that will give them a run for their money and count their loses and finally end in jail.”