THE Federal Operations Unit, Zone A of the Nigerian Customs Service on Tuesday said its officers have intercepted various contraband with a duty paid value of N2,557,261,280.6 only from 1st to 19th of March, 2018. Addressing newsmen in Lagos on Tuesday, Controller of the Unit, Compt.
Mohammed Uba explained that the seized items include: 16 Exotic vehicles mostly 2017 model, 7,201 bags of foreign parboiled rice (12 trailers), 1,172 cartons of frozen poultry products, 1,352 jerrycans of vegetable oil, 72 bales of used clothing, 464 pieces of used tyres, 407 sacks of Pangolin scales, and 629 pieces of textile Ankara Material among others.
According to the FOU, Zone A Controller,”After an intensive onslaught on daredevil smugglers deploying our tactical operational modalities, we have intercepted various contraband with a duty paid value (DPV) of N2,557,261,280.6 only from 1st to 19th of March, 2018.
“Remarkably, among the seizures was the interception of 8 trucks laden with 3,351 bags of rice and 669 jerrycans of vegetable oil along Iseyin, Oyo/Osun Axis and also the evacuation of 1,253 bags of rice (50kg each) from a warehouse in Ogbomosho based on credible intelligence despite resistance.
“You will recall that the ban on the importation of foreign rice through the land was to encourage efficiency in local production. Therefore, the need to support the Federal Government policy on Rice, encourage local rice farmers, the millers and patronize our own nutritional rice cannot be overemphasised.
“Among the detained vehicles include 2 Lexus Jeep (RS350 2016,2017 model), 1 Rolls Royce, 1 Lincoln Limousine (2014), 3 Toyota Camry(2009,2013 and 2017 models), 1 Toyota Rav 4, 1 Toyota Avalon (2016) 1Toyota Tundra, 1 Dodge among others. These 16 exotic Vehicles alone have a duty paid value of N340,770,509.055 only.
“While 6 vehicles were evacuated based on intelligence along Lekki Epe Expressway, the remaining 10 were intercepted while on information patrol at various locations. The vehicles are still under detention pending the grace period allowed for the owners to bring relevant Customs document.
“Also, 407 sacks Of Pangolin Scales weighing 10,263kg were evacuated from an apartment at 64 Opebi Road, Off Toyin Street, Ikeja Lagos within the weeks under review with a duty paid the value of N2,094,243,456.69. In the spirit of inter-agency cooperation, the pangolin scales and the suspect will be handed over to Nigeria Environment Standards and Regulatory Enforcement Agency (NESREA) for further investigation in collaboration towards protecting our natural habitat and protecting our endangered species.
Five suspects have been arrested in connection with these 89 seizures. “Let me still use this opportunity to thank the Comptroller General of Customs Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) and the entire Management Team of the Nigeria Customs Service for appreciating us with a commendation letter and providing necessary logistics that brought about this feat.
We are very determined to ensure sustenance of this laudable sterling performance by making sure we give economic saboteurs a run” for their money.”