The Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘C’, Owerri, Imo State, has confiscated 4,956 pieces of used vehicle tyres.
The market worth of the used tyres was N84,286,000, while the Duty Paid Value of the means of conveyance (trucks) was N7,375,000.
Briefing journalists at the Customs warehouse in Aduwawa, Benin City, Edo State, the Customs Area Controller- Kayode Olusemire, said the tyres were seized by the NCS mobile patrol team in Benin, adding that 90 per cent of vehicular accidents in the country was caused by the failure of used tyres.
He said new tyres would only last five years and regretted that some Nigerians were in the habit of smuggling used tyres into the country and buying them for use.
Olusemire stated that the seized tyres expired in 2011, adding that the importation of used tyres was prohibited in Nigeria.
‘I regret the way and manner in which six tyres are squeezed inside one rim. The way they are rumpled in one rim makes the tyres weaker and by the time they are mounted on any vehicle, the chances of them bursting and causing mayhem on the road is very high,’ he said.
He stated that three suspects, who were arrested in connection with the crime, had been granted administrative bail.
While warning smugglers to desist from bringing in contraband goods, Olusemire explained that their action was inimical to the economy of the nation and the lives of the citizens.
‘Many lives have been lost to damaged tyres on the highways. We shall not rest until the evil hands of smugglers are reduced to the barest minimum,’ he added.