The Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit Zone C, Owerri has generated a total of N591million as Duty Paid Value on 22 seized vehicles, including eight bullet proof exotic autos and 1901 x50kg bags of contraband rice.
Controller of the Unit, Compt. Kayode Olusemire while briefing newsmen at the Benin Government Warehouse Friday, put the Duty Paid Value of the seized items at N591million. He explained that six suspects were arrested in connection with the seizures, and are currently undergoing trial at the court.
While appealing to Nigerians to strive to discontinue acts of smuggling the customs unit boss described as economic sabotage, he urged genuine importers to acquaint themselves with import customs advice and be adequately informed of what constitutes import prohibitions, noting that
‘Ignorance has no place in law’.
Olumisere explained that management of customs is solely interested in trade facilitation, but equally constrained by law to intercept offensive importations and stop smugglers from ruining our economy and national growth.
He said, “In the past four months, we have brought you here to showcase seizures made by our officers. We are here again but not so much to showcase seizures but to appeal to Nigerians to strive to do the right thing. Why is it that every time, we have people travel abroad to buy exotic cars, cars that are worth millions of naira, and they prefer not to pay duty on them? And we are also having other importations that have potential security risk.
“Here we have bullet proof Land Cruiser, no document, smuggled into the country with DPV of N95million. This is another one here, Range Rover with DPV of N81million, these are vehicles that are controlled, they are supposed to obtain End-User-Certificate to make it possible to trace, so that they do not fall into evil hands.
“This government has gone extra mile to encourage the production of local rice, farmers are been given loans, yet some people prefer to sabotage the economy by smuggling in imported rice, rice that may have stayed so long in the silos, rice that is certainly less nutritious than our local brands in Ebonyi, Kebbi and other states”, adding:
“Importers should please get necessary information on cars they wish to buy from the Customs website. They can also visit any customs formation nationwide, where you can get any information on import from Customs Help Desks.”