Tuesday, August 9, 2022
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HomeBusinessCustoms intercepts N7.1bn smuggled goods at FOU ‘A’, arrests 103 suspects

Customs intercepts N7.1bn smuggled goods at FOU ‘A’, arrests 103 suspects

By Kehinde Ibrahim, Lagos

NIGERIA Customs Service (NCS),Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone ‘A’ has seized smuggled items worth a total of N7.1b including 77 trailer loads of foreign parboiled rice and arrested 103 suspected smugglers from January to June 2022.

Acting Controller of the unit, Hussein Kehinde Ejibunu who disclosed this in Lagos at a press briefing on the half year activities of the unit said he is determined to continually seize smuggled items, arrest suspects and frustrate them out of their illicit business.

Ejibunu who gave a breakdown of items seized within the first six months of 2022 listed 45,928 bags of foreign parboiled rice of 50kg each, equivalent to 77 trailer loads; 265,830 litres of Premium Motor Spirit; 2,933 bales of used clothes ; 233 cartons of Tramadol (225mg each) and 83 packs of 225mg and 65 units of used vehicles.

Other listed seized items include 14,784 pieces of used tyres ;119 units of used motorcycles and 3,659.05 kg of Indian hemp.

The Acting Controller who condemned importation and consumption of hard drugs describing it as a promoter of heinous crimes urged Nigerians to beware of such illicit importation as we approach the 2023 elections

Ejibunu thanked the Comptroller General of Customs, Col Hameed Ibrahim Ali for his support to the unit through logistics and other mode of motivation.

He added that efforts have been activated to provide additional storage space for seizures through request for increased Authority to Incure Expenses (AIE) as some office space like the correspondence office have been converted for rice storage

The Controller said “Successes recorded in the anti-smuggling drives are products of sustained vigilance and intelligence deployment within the ports and border corridors. Thirdly, I must also commend personnel’s Professionalism in compliance with the extant regulations.

“On the whole, the entire success of the Unit is premised on the improved logistics supplied by the management of the Service Headquarters, inter-agency collaboration with sister security agencies, esteemed stakeholders, as well as patriotic citizens for providing useful and timely information.

“Goods seized within the first six months of the year are worth a cumulative duty paid value of Seven billion, One Hundred and sixteen Million, Nine Hundred and Thirty-two Thousand, Fifty Naira (N7,116,932, 050). These seizures were made for contravention of different Customs offences. A total of 103 suspects were arrested in connection with some of the seized goods.

“Let me use this medium to remind the business community that although some of the land borders were reopened; it is worthy of note to be reminded and to know that, they were reopened for legitimate businesses. Importers, agents and the general public are enjoined to be acquainted with the t federal government fiscal policies, Customs extant regulations as well as the import and export prohibition lists for proper guidance.

“The sum of Five Hundred and Seventy-seven Million, Eight Hundred and Fifty-three Thousand, Four Hundred and Fifty-seven Naira, Ninety-six Kobo (N577, 853, 457.96) was collected as revenue derived from underpayments.

We shall continue to facilitate legitimate and compliant traders to grow our local economy, while we sustain deliberate efforts aimed at frustrating recalcitrant traders; as seen in the volume of seizures displayed”.

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