FOU Impound 12 Trailers of Rice, 1 Tanker of Petrol, Unprocessed Woods, Wee-Wee
BY FUNMI ALUKO
The Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone A in May 2023 intercepted consignments of contraband rice equivalent of twelve trailers, petrol equivalent of a tanker load, unprocessed woods, among other questionable items with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of over One Billion Naira.
The Unit Controller, Hussein Ejibunu at a press briefing Monday said recorded detentions and seizures within the period under review amounted to 79, with 4 arrests. This is even as he announced that the NCS has secured the conviction of one suspect for assault on officers of the unit.
Speaking on the unit’s activities for May, Ejibunu said, “In our continued quest to enforce Customs laws, and fight against the activities of saboteurs that attempt to undermine and weaken the nation’s economy and its viability, this Unit in May 2023, intercepted some smuggled items for contravening various sections of our laws as part of our resolve to protect the well-being of citizens.
“Some of the wares were intercepted for either violating the guidelines on the importation/exportation of goods, concealment, undervaluation, wrong classification and smuggling. Others were seized for contravening policy directives as it is in the case of foreign parboiled rice.
“Detentions and seizures recorded within the period under review amounted to 79 seizures, with a total duty paid value of N1,025,905,110 are products of surveillance, intelligence gathering and regular patrols. These were intercepted at different times and locations within border corridors of the South-West Zone.”
He listed the seizures to include 6,861 X 50kg bags of foreign parboiled rice (equivalent to 12 trailer loads); 1,236 jerry cans X 25 litres (30,900 litres) of petroleum; 9,857 parcels (5,338 kg) of cannabis sativa; 2 X 20 of unprocessed wood; 4 units of used vehicles (Tokunbo); 40 X 5 jerry cans of vegetable oil; and 54 bales of second hand clothing.
“4 suspects were arrested in connection with some of the intercepted goods. For ongoing prosecution of suspects, the Federal High Court at Abeokuta-Ogun, sentenced Musa Oloyede, Fishing Godwin David and Adeniyi Alaye, to two years imprisonment for assaulting our officers while carrying out their statutory duties.”
The anti-smuggling czar further disclosed that the unit recorded a total of N38, 355, 362.88 in revenue receipts from the issuance of demand notices.
“On revenue, the sum of N38, 355, 362.88 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.”
Speaking on the incidences of trafficking in illicit substances such as Cannabis sativa also known locally as Wee-Wee, the Unit Controller said, “Consequent to the social effect of cannabis sativa on the youths, it becomes very worrisome that a total of 9,857 parcels were seized in a single swoop. Crime experts have found a direct relationship between the intake of this controlled plant and violent crimes. We are conscious of this challenge and will continually cut the supply chain of illicit drugs and other prohibited substances.
“I want to urge all patriotic Nigerians to promptly share useful information with our operatives that will assist to checkmate the menace of smuggling. Since smuggling is a crime that deals in illegal trade, such as illicit drugs and prohibited weapons, Nigerians should see insecurity and other crimes as products of smuggling. The perpetrators should be considered as common enemies of the land that must be jointly fought by all citizens.”