The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘A’ Ikeja, Lagos, said on Wednesday, that it has intercepted various contraband items with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of over N1.1 billion in the last six weeks, June 13 to July 24.
The seized items include 21 exotic vehicles; 15 trailer-load of rice amounting to 9,504 bags of foreign parboiled rice; 436 jerrycan of vegetable oil; 333 cartons of frozen poultry products; 287 bales of used clothing and 198 pieces of used tyres.
Speaking to newsmen in his office on Wednesday, Mohammed Uba, area controller of the command, said that it was the obligation of Customs through the command, to support the Federal Government’s policy on rice, which aimed at encouraging local rice farmers and millers in order to create employment opportunities to the unemployed youths.
Uba listed the arrested vehicles to include one 2016 Mercedes Benz G-500; six 2018 Toyota Hice bus; three 2017 Lexus GX 460 and LX 570; one 2017 Toyota Hilux; one Toyota 2016 Land Cruiser Prado SUV; one 2014 Toyota Hilux bullet proof and one 2018 Toyota Corolla car.
Uba, who disclosed that the 21 exotic vehicles has DPV of over N484 million, listed other arrested vehicles to include two 2016 Toyota Camry; one 2016 Honda Civic; one 2016 Honda Accord and one 2016 Dodge Charger. He however urged the owners of the vehicles to bring the original Customs document forward to claim ownership of the vehicles in order to avoid total forfeiture in line with the provisions of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA).
“Remarkable among the seizure was the interception of an IVECO Truck with the registration number LAM283 LG along the Ijebu Ode-Ore Road carrying 498 cartons of CSP Codeine cough syrup with each carton containing 200 bottles against the Federal Government ban on importation of cough syrup with codeine,” Uba said.
According to him, two suspects has been arrested in line with the illegal import, which is valued at over N199 million. He added that the suspects and the products would be handed over to the National Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), for further investigation and prosecution in the court of competent jurisdiction.
“The command within the period under review also recovered over N67.4 million from demand notices issued on items with underpaid values in the ports and land borders with the intention of short-changing the government of its revenue. The amount brings the total sum generated by the command to N1,188,090,009 with a total of 10 suspects arrested and currently in the command’s custody,” he added.
Uba said that the command in line with the presidential directive will be evacuating seized items including rice, vegetable oil, used clothing and used shoes to the Internally Displaced Persons Camps in Borno State for distribution by the Nigeria Army Corps of Supply and Transport (NACST).
The controller however warned smugglers to desist from their actions as the command will not hesitate to arrest them and their accomplices despite their usual resistance.
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