Customs FOU Lagos Impounds 9 Trailer of Contraband Rice
…As Ejibunu Says Unit Constantly Improving Detection Method
BY FUNMI ALUKO
The Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘A’said its operatives arrested a Toyota Highlander with an ingenious concealment of suspected bags of foreign parboiled rice at Iju-Ojuore, Ogun State, putting the total number of offensive consignment of rice impounded by the unit at 5,459x 50kg bags (equivalent of 9 trailer loads).
Briefing news men at its lkeja facility, the Unit Controller, Hussein Kehinde Ejibunu explained that the arrests were made possible through improved detection methods by officers and men of the unit, even as he put the combined Duty Paid Value of seizures within the month of November 2023 at N872,575,250; with a total of 11 suspects arrested in connection with some of the seizures.
The statement by the Unit Public Relations Officer, CSC Theophilus Duniya quoted Ejibunu as saying the unit will leave no stone unturned in keeping with its national security mandate and the protection of the nation’s economy.
Addressing the news men, Ejibunu said, “Ingenious concealment is an activity that plays a significant role in smuggling operations. It allows smugglers to hide illicit goods from detection by concerned authorities. It is important to note that smuggling is illegal and a crime that has negative social, economic, and security implications.
“It is our resolve to continuously work hard to improve detection methods with the aid of intelligence. The strategic deployment of officers with intelligence-driven anti-smuggling operations led to the arrest of a Toyota Highlander with an ingenious concealment of suspected bags of foreign parboiled rice at Iju-Ojuore , Ogun State.
“These seizures reflect our commitment to the discharge of our functions; aimed at protecting the nation’s economy and preventing the importation of prohibited and harmful products from entering our domestic markets.”
The anti-smuggling czar listed other goods seized within the period under review to include 18,100 litres of premium motor spirit; 376 bales of used clothes; 1,926 cartons of frozen poultry products; 337 pieces of used compressors; 3 X 40 ft containers found to contain 3,838 pieces of used tyres; 13 used vehicles (Tokunbo); and 396 cartons of frozen fish.
“The total duty paid value of the seized goods stood atN872,575,250. While a total of 11 suspects were arrested in connection with some of the suspects.”
On revenue monitoring, Ejibunu said “the sum of N71,254,984.71 was generated through conscious and thorough documentary checks, followed by the issuance of demand notices on consignments that were found to have paid lesser amounts than the appropriate Customs duty”, adding:
“Smuggling operations that employ ingenious concealment methods can have a chance of successfully trafficking illegal goods across borders or checkpoints without being noticed.
“This calls for the collaborative efforts of all citizens to support the Service by providing useful and timely information that would aid anti-smuggling drive.”