By Ajibola Abayomi,
February 28, 2018.
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Units (FOU), Zone ‘A’ Ikeja has recorded another round of seizures for the month of February, 2018.
This time around, the FOU intercepted huge volumes of elephants tusks suspected to be imported into the country from China and other valuable goods with cumulative worth of N1, 103, 177, 204.
The Controller of FOU, Mohammed Uba listed the seized items to include 18 assorted vehicles, 421 bags of foreign parboiled rice (that’s about 7 trailers) 2,619 cartons of frozen poultry products, 1,105 jerrycans of vegetable oil, 2, 637 pieces of used tyres, 1333 bales of used clothing, 2001 kg of pangolin, 243 kg of Elephants Tusks among others.
He added that a 1/20fit container no. CALU0961053 was also confiscated for false declaration which was tantamount to seizure.
He said 17 suspects were arrested in connection with the seizures numbering 90 including one Mr Ko Sin Ying, a Chine national.
“Within the period under review, we have also recovered N67, 945, 158.00) from demand notices raised on goods intercepted while attempting to beat the system through transfer of value and under declaration making the cumulative of N1, 103, 177, 204.
“Also cars intercepted include 1 Rolls Royce, 1 Chrysler, 1 Audi Q7, 1 Land Rover HSE, 1 Toyota Vennza, 1 Ford Taurus, 1 Honda Cross tour, 4 Mercedes Benz, 3 Kia Rio, 1 Escalade among others of various type ranging from 2008 t0 2015 model)”.
Uba explained that while some of the vehicles were intercepted along Ijebu Ode Expressway, others were evacuated from a car mart located in Lekki.
“Remarkably within the month under review, the Warehouse Operations Team led by Assistant Controller Mutalib Sule while on intelligence raided on apartment at No 18 Ogundana Street, Off Allen Avenue, Ikeja Lagos and evacuated the following:
“55 sacks of pangolin shells weighing 2001 kg valued at N408, 319, 317.6, 218 pieces of Elephant tusk weighing 334kg and valued at N86, 155,649, 96. You will recall that the responsibilities of the NCS have undoubtedly increased tremendously overtime because of the implementation of different international protocols and conventions.
“The Convention of International Trade in endangered species (CITES 1973) entails that Customs Administration globally protects wild life by intercepting illegal trade on such animals. It further prevents the killing of species since the tusk are only available after killing the elephant and pangolin” said the Controller,
He however said as a result of the inter-agency collaboration, the seized pangolin and tusks have been handed over to Nigeria Environment Standards and Regulatory Agency (NESREA) for further investigation in collaboration towards protecting our natural habitats, which you all witnessed earlier.
He argued that ; “For the avoidance of doubts, our action is in line with the provision of sections 147 of Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) Cap 45, Laws of the federation of Nigeria 2004 (power to search premises) section 158 of CEMA, Cap 45 Laws of Federation of Nigeria 9power to patrol freely).