…Intercepts 30 exotic vehicles, 5,516 bags of foreign rice, other items, arrests 14 suspects
Following the recent interception of trucks belonging to Nigerian Breweries Plc used in the smuggling of bags of foreign parboiled rice, the Nigerian Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit said it has set up an investigation Committee to ascertain the culpability of the company.
The Controller of the Unit, Comptroller Mohammed Uba who stated this while speaking to Journalists during the monthly press briefing called for caution and proper scrutiny of prospective employees especially drivers.
Uba said credibility checks must be done in other to avoid the recruitment of persons with criminal intents.
The Controller further disclosed that the Unit had also intercepted various contrabands and other goods on detention with a duty paid value (DPV) of over N1.10 Billion between April 10th to May 15th 2018. He said 14 suspects had also been arrested alongside the seizures
The seized items which included 30 exotic vehicles intercepted along the Lagos – Ibadan Expressway were gotten based on Intelligence driven information.
Although not confirmed by the Controller, Our correspondent had gathered that the vehicles which included seven Toyota Hilux (2018 model), three Toyota Prado Jeep (2017 model), one Range Rover, one Ford Edge and others were been escorted by policemen to a yet to be ascertained destination.
Speaking on the seizures, Uba said, ” having deepened our anti-smuggling operations, we have made 125 different seizures within the period. We have intercepted 5,516 bags of foreign parboiled rice (equivalent to nine trailers), 1,078 cartons of frozen poultry products and 216 jerry cans of vegetable oil.
” Also, 173 bales of used clothing, 683 pieces of used tyres, 8 sacks of Indian hemp weighing 134kg, two containers with No. MSKU130295/2 and MRKU877714/0 have been seized for false declaration with a DPV of over N25 million. The Unit through it’s intervention recovered over N28 Million from underpayments.”
On the ongoing evacuation of 42 trailers of bags of rice and other items to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps, Uba said the act was carried out after a court process and condemnation of the items.
He said, ” He said for the avoidance of doubt, after court processes and condemnation, the presidential committee on IDPs chaired by the Comptroller – General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd) has approved the evacuation of the following items to Borno State Government for distribution to IDPs through the Nigerian Army Corps of Supply and Transport (NASCT). 25,318 of 50kg bags of rice.
” 3,366 jerry can of 25 litres and 175 gallons of 5 litres of vegetable oil, 1,564 bales and 122 sacks of second hand clothing, 196 sacks and 938 pairs of used shoes. Hence the reason you see trucks lined up by the government warehouse wall. ”
The Controller further commended the officers and men of the Unit for their effort in ensuring that the activities of smugglers are suppressed.
” Let me commend the Officers and Men of the Unit for living up to their statutory responsibilities in suppression of smuggling, blocking all revenue leakages and enhancing trade facilitation towards sustaining best international standards. We have remained unflinching with our mandates and no amount of distraction will deter us from performing our statutory duties.”
He therefore promised that the Zone will continue to make the area uncomfortable for smugglers to operate and urged every Nigerian to be patriotic and report any smuggling activity in their areas to the service, saying any Intelligence provided will be treated in confidence.
For economic Saboteurs and fraudulent importers, Uba advised them to invest their resources towards legitimate trade and desist from engaging in smuggling activities.
He said, “The service and indeed the Unit will not renege on her statutory functions most especially in suppressing smuggling.”