Customs Accuses Free Zone Operators of Smuggling Luxury Cars, Yachts, Evading Duty Payment

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The Nigeria Customs Service(NCS) has accused some free trade zone operators of smuggling luxury sport utility vehicles(SUVs) and yachts into the country under the guise of operational vehicles to evade duty payment.

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Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi speaking at the just concluded Comptroller General of Customs Conference in Lagos, has set a timeline of March 31, 2024 to meet with the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment (FMT&I) and the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) to resolve the issue



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Deputy Comptroller General (DCG) Jack Ajoku who made the observation of duty evasion on Friday, alleged that the operators take advantage of the special status granted their operational areas to circumvent government policy


Ajoku, a DCG in charge of Excise, Free Trade Zone and Industrial Incentives, said such luxurious cars like latest Toyota Land Cruisers, other high end vehicles and yachts are not exempted from duty payment and are not categorised as operational vehicles.


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He added that operational cars with the free zone special numbers should be used within their designated areas, not in town or other parts of the country considered to be customs zone where the NCS is empowered to carry out it’s anti smuggling and duty collection responsibilities.


Ajoku reminded them that their areas are for raw materials processing, transfer of skills and generation of foreign exchange to promote economic development. He added that it was wrong for them to take their dutiable products into customs zone for sale without going through the NCS for excise duty payments

Ismail Aniemu

Ismail Aniemu, Publisher of JournalNG and ghost writer, is a maritime journalist of over two decades' of practice with multidisciplinary background. He holds a masters degree in Transport Management from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology(LAUTECH) with bias for logistics. He is also an alumnus of the Times Journalism Institute where he obtained a post graduate diploma in Journalism. Email:

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