By Cliffsimeon Akalonu
The Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘A’ Ikeja, of the Nigerian Customs Service has seized various contraband goods with a duty paid value (DPV) of N1,618,177,661.50 between January 1-31, 2018.
According to the Comptroller, Mohammed Uba, this feat was achieved after intensifying operational modalities to meet up with the current smuggling tactics.
The Comptroller who spoke to news men at the FOU headquarters in Ikeja, mentioned the items seized as: 31 vehicles, – 4 Rolls Royce, 1 Porche Panamera, 1 Jaguar, 1 Bentley, 2 Lexus, 2 G Wagon, 1 Toyota Land Cruiser, 5 Toyota Corolla, 7 Mercedes Benz among others; 8,400 bags of rice, poultry, vegetable oil etc.
While most of these vehicles were intercepted along Ijebu Ode Expressway, others were evacuated at various raids in Parkview Estate, Victoria Island, Banana Island, Alhaji Bankole Crescent Ikeja and Tola Adewunmi Street, Maryland.
It was also learnt that 14 trailers loaded with 8,400 bags of foreign parboiled rice, 1,652 cartons of frozen poultry products, 835 jerry cans of vegetable oil, 10 sack bags of Indian Hemp, 2,208 pieces of used tyres and 159 bales of used clothes were also intercepted.
The Comptroller reminded journalists that “it’s our obligation to support the Federal Government policy on rice to encourage local rice farmers, the millers and patronize our own nutritious rice which by implications will create employment opportunities for our youths”.
He urged the owners of the seized vehicles to come forward with valid customs clearance documents otherwise they will be liable to seizure and subsequent forfeiture to the Federal government in line with laws of the land.
The Comptroller quoted sections 147 of Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) cap 45, laws of the federation of Nigeria 2004 gives the customs power to search premises, and section 158 of CEMA, cap 45 laws of the Federation of Nigeria, gives the customs power to patrol freely.
Concluding, Comptroller Mohammed Uba said that, within the period under review, “we have recovered (N91,366,436.00) making accumulative of (1,709,544,098.00)”.