Ejibunu Raids Contraband Tyre Warehouse
BY EGUONO ODJEGBA
The Controller, Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Hussein Ejibunu Thursday, led the raid of warehouse located off the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) in Mowe, Ogun State , where a huge quantity of imported used tyres were stockpiled.
The Unit Controller told reporters on ground investigation will be carried out by the relevant authority to determine whether the tyres have been retreated or compromised in any way, other than the unsafe manner they stuffed in multiples.
“You can see they are being packed in sizes. Each size has one or two tucked into one. Used tyres fall under import prohibition list that should not be imported Nigeria. Investigation will reveal whether they have been retread and sell them as new because for someone to have this quantity kept in a discrete place like this, leaves much to be desired.
“It is important to let us know that smugglers are into different businesses in different facets. For someone to have these quantities, obviously it could not go to the market, it could be retreaded, but investigation will reveal that.”
He also showed reporters other offensive imported items in the warehouse, which included used clothing, all of which he lamented are injurious to the Nigerian economy and citizens wellbeing. He disclosed that the sting operation was sequel to active intelligence, noting that the service is committed to reducing smuggling to the barest minimum.
“Equally, down there, there are few bales of used clothing, obviously to be ferried somewhere in Nigeria. It is heartrending to see that some unscrupulous Nigerians want to turn Nigeria into a dumping ground. It is not good for our economy and it is not good for our health.
“We as agencies of government are resolute and determined to fight this scourge of smuggling. Some credible intelligence led us to unravel this. This area is some kilometres from the Redeemed Christian Church of God along the Lagos Ibadan Expressway at Mowe.”
Fielding questions from journalists on the possibility that the tyres could as well be for industrial purposes, Ejibunu expressed doubt but assured that if investigation proved otherwise, the service will not hesitate to release from detention status, pending the first 30 days
“Even if they do, it must be within the ambit of the law. These tyres were not manufactured in Nigeria. They are foreign-used, so they are prohibited in the first instance. Smugglers have so many ways and are into so many things, and they think virtually every second to beat government agencies. That is their target.
“I cannot imagine that someone could stockpile used tyres of this quantity here. I have never seen this type of quantity before. We have started the evacuation. Investigation will reveal if it is concealment. They could put those things inside containers, put cars and other things and cover them. It could even be inside new tyres. Smugglers are into so many tricks but we will take this container to the office, trace the movement, and then know the linkage.
“After the expiration of 30 days, without anybody coming for it, we will compile it for seizures, and then to court for appropriate condemnation. Anybody who has money to buy a car should be able to buy good (brand new) tyres because it is far more expensive to buy a car than brand new tyres. For car owners to stay alive, I will enjoin Nigerians to stop patronising used tyres.”