Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service has intercepted contrabands, and raised debit notes from erring importers worth N17billion.
According to the Customs Area Controller(CAC) of the unit, Ag. Comptroller Usman Yahaya, the generated sum was made from January to June 2020.
Speaking to journalists at the unit’s headquarters in Ikeja, Lagos at the weekend, Yahaya said the contrabands seized from smugglers included used vehicles, pharmaceuticals, textiles, foreign parboiled rice, tomato paste, second hand clothing among others.
He stated that the debit notes were raised on importers who under-declared their cargoes in a bid to pay lesser customs duty.
Giving a breakdown of the seizures, the CAC said over N15.6billion was generated from the seizure of contrabands, while over N1.3billion was raised from wrong classification, transfer of value and false declaration of cargoes.
Yahaya’s words: “The total duty paid value of over N15.6bn were premised on seized contrabands while over N1.3billion were revenue from the unit interventions arising from wrong classifications, transfer of value and false declarations by importers. So, a total of N17billion was recovered for the federal government in the period under review.”
According to the CAC, the unit also intercepted a truck load of banned textile materials worth N565million naira imported from Benin Republic
He also disclosed that 18,760 bags of foreign parboiled rice smuggled into the country from Benin Republic, and 64 units of exotic vehicles were intercepted and detained for duty evasion and under payment.
He said: “A quick glance of our spectacular seizure reports from January, 2020, shows 64 exotic vehicles including two bullet proofs, 18,760 bags of 50kg of foreign parboiled rice valued at N469million, 1,338kg of Indian Hemp worth N201million, and 147 sacks (9,504kg) of Pangolin scales worth N10.4billion.
“Others are 3,059 cartons of tomato paste, 10,653 cartons of frozen poultry products, 5,423 kegs of 25 litres each of vegetable oil, 56,472 bundles of printed textiles valued at N565million, 66 packs of Tramadol, 872 bales of second hand clothing worth N61million, and 11,077 cartons of frozen products worth N177million.”
Also intercepted are 5,423 kegs of vegetable oil valued at N87million, 7,549 jerry cans of Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) valued at N27million, five containers load of pharmaceutical valued at N2.9 billion, 64 units of motorcycles used for smuggling, valued at N565million among others.
Yahaya attributed the seizures by the unit to intelligence made available to the unit and hard work of eagle-eye officers of the unit.
In his warning to smugglers, Yahaya said: “My message to smugglers is that they should stop smuggling and embrace legitimate business because the unit is ready to run them out of business.
“we are always a step ahead of them through intelligence gathering and steadfastness. We won’t get tired until we suppress smuggling finally from the South West.”