The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone A, recorded a total of 580 seizures between January and June, 2023, even as the unit has warmed those involved in anti-economic activities to embrace legitimate trade, vowing tobsustain it’s anti-smuglling stance for the second half of the year.
Briefing the media about the unit’s exploit in the last six months, the Unit Controller, Hussein Ejibunu disclosed that the above seizures attracted
a Duty Paid Value of N4,022,960,075.
“We also arrested 60 suspects and recovered a total of N400,599,515.66 as revenue through the issuance of demand notices”, he said.
Apart from a high volume seizures made by the united t, Ejibunu said, “We also succeeded in preventing the entry of dangerous or harmful substances like illicit drugs into the society.
“Our strategic intervention also achieved recovery of revenue through the issuance of demand notices to complete underpaid duties into the federal government coffers that were being evaded by some importers and their agents.”
He listed some of the prominent seizures to include rice, totalling 36,742 X 50kg bags (goreign parboiled) equivalent to 62 trailer loads, some of which he explained were ferried through bush paths using motorcycles and rickety vehicles as means of conveyance.
Other seizures include14,015 (7,728) parcels of Indian Hemp,
1,064 bales of used clothing,
450 x 106 kg drums of carbide,
2 x 20 containers of unprocessed wood,
1,448 pieces of foreign rugs,
30 units of used motorcycles,
44 units of used vehicles (Tokunbo),
218,575 litres of premium Motor Spirit (PMS), 860 cartons of foreign poultry products, and 833 pieces of used tyres.
The anti-smuggling czar also disclosed the arrest of some wanted attackers of its officers through collaborative engagement.
“We wish to express our profound gratitude to sister security agencies for their unflinching synergy in the course of our operations; special mention to the Department of State Security Services- Oyo State Command for the arrest of a notorious suspect that was on the wanted list for attack on a Customs patrol team escorting exhibits. “Interestingly, this suspect was arrested and handed over the Unit yesterday.”
He continues: “Through the federal high courts, 11 suspects were convicted for committing offences of improper importation, assault of Customs officers, being in possession of foreign parboiled rice and for being in possession of Pangolin scales meant for export.
“Some other smuggling and related cases instituted in the courts are at various stages of prosecution and would be followed up diligently.”
For the remainder of the second half of the year, he said, “Let me reiterate that for the second half of 2023, our onslaught against smugglers will be fiercer with a renewed determination to uncover them using intelligence-backed enforcement.
“We shall get recalcitrant traders and their agents arrested and prosecuted in addition to seizing their wares.
“At this point, members of the trading community are advised to further embrace compliance and shun any act that would place them on the wrong side of the law.
“We advise them to keep themselves abreast of the import and export prohibition lists because claims of ignorance will not suffice as an excuse whenever they are caught.”