Law and Crime

Yuletide Smuggling: Customs arrests 9 Suspects, Intercepts N1.2b Goods In Lagos, Ogun


 

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Deputy Comptroller Hussein Ejibunu, Acting Controller of Customs in charge of Federal Operations Unit, Zone A

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A, Ikeja, said yesterday, that it arrested nine persons in connection with the smuggling of 13 trucks (7,381 bags) of 50kg foreign parboiled rice, and 17 units of smuggled used vehicles worth N1.24billion.

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The service attributed the increase in the number of smuggling items into the country to the yuletide period that is fast approaching.

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Addressing reporters in Lagos, the acting Customs Area Controller, FOU, Zone A, Hussein Ejibunu, added that 14,825 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) were also intercepted on the verge of being smuggled out of Nigeria to neighboring Benin Republic.

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“Our reviewed strategies have been paying off as reflected in the seizures recently made by the Federal Operations Unit, Zone A, for October. We shall sustain our efforts towards deploying these strategies continuously. Before reeling out the list of seizures which amounts to N1.242billion in Duty Paid Value (DPV). I want to state that this Unit of the Service under my watch will make the remaining part of 2023 and beyond tough for smugglers in the interest of our country.

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“Other items seized are used tyres; 167 (202 kg) parcels of Indian hemp; 39 bales of second hand-clothing; 100 packs of tomato ketchup; 4 units of used motorcycle; 600 cartons of GIV soap and 730 sacks of hide and skin hidden in a 1×40 container equivalent to 5,033 pieces.

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“We are ready to intercept them and frustrate their antics of concealment, illegal route passage, false declaration and under declaration. In addition, we are also determined to implement all the provisions of the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023, including the various penalties attached to offences while striving to ensure that perpetrators face the full wrath of the laws.”

 

“In our continuous quest to prevent revenue loss through various infractions such as; under-valuation, under-payments, and wrong classification, the sum of N115.46million was collected following the issuance of demand notices to defaulters,” he said.

 

Speaking further, Ejibunu stated that importation of vehicles- new and used- through the land borders still remain banned by the federal government.

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“Rice has been a recurring commodity in our list of seizures across various borders in the southwest zone. We were able to seize a total of 7,381 units of 50kg foreign parboiled rice from smugglers. This amounts to almost thirteen trailer loads of rice. A total of 17 vehicles were also seized from smugglers who wanted to circumvent the law by evading duty payment. For the avoidance of doubts, let me state again that the ban on vehicle importation through land borders subsists,” he stated.

 

He added that other items seized were, used tyres; bales of second hand clothing; 100 packs of tomatoes ketchup; soaps among others.

 

Ejibunu however, appealed to the Nigerians to give the service credible information that will assist in combatting smugglling of contrabands into the country and arrest the smugglers.

 

 



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: ismail.aniemu@aol.com

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