The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), the Strike Force team announced last week that it made a number of seizures amounting to over N207 million between September 19 and October 18, 2018.
The Deputy Comptroller and National Coordinator, Comptroller General Strike Force of the Nigerian Customs Service, Mr. Abdullahi Kirawa disclosed this while conducting journalists round the Customs warehouses where the seized items were kept in Lagos, said that the items were arrested and seized as a result of credible intelligence provided to Strike Force team by good Samaritans and of course Customs Intelligence Unit (CIU) of the Nigerian Customs Service.
According to him, some of the items seized include 7500 bags of 50kg of foreign parboil rice illegally imported within a period of one month valued at N65 million. Adding that the rice in containers were forcefully declared as raw materials.
He added: “With that, we are able to strike this containers down and got them arrested. After examination were conducted, we find out that they weren’t what they declared and so for force declaration, the two containers of rice were seized.”
He said other items seized were 534 kegs x 25 litres of vegetable oil, 14 cartons x 3 pieces of vegetable oil all with duty paid value of N6,824,250; two used Ford Galaxy vehicles with duty paid value N2,025,000; 275 bales of second hand clothing with duty paid value N11,550,000 ; 40 jumbo bales of used clothing/shoes valued at N65,250,000 and 27 units used fridges also valued at N911,250.
Others are 1×40” container No ACLU 973064/7 examined and FTC; 2 used Golf cars and 2240 pieces of used tyres with duty paid value N16, 820,000; 1×40” No. GCNU 474422/0 examined and FTC; one used FIAT bus loaded with used tyres and 2628 tyres valued at N17,739,000; 1×40” container No. ZCSU 845746/2 examined and FTC; machinery, items of plastics, Chinese products; 2×20” Container examined and FTC 920 bags of 50 kg each of foreign parboiled rice seized from one of the ports in Lagos and 240 pieces of used tyres extracted from 1×40 container with duty paid value N1,620,000.
Hinted that customs is taking the fight against smuggling to the doorsteps of the smugglers to the real source of these goods, which include the waterways and the creeks as part of effort to ensure that smuggling is reduced to the barest minimum.
However, he advised that smugglers should desist from their nefarious activities and engage in legitimate trade and business because the environment has been made for them to thrive in their legitimate businesses and shun things that are illegal.
He said: “It is only the Strike Force team doing up and down in ensuring that rice and other items are not smuggling into the country.
The Federal Operation Unit and Area Commands, we are collaborating to ensure that there is seamless synergy in our operations to make sure that all nooks and crannies of this country conned in terms of patrol.
“And then we can’t do it alone, we need the assistance of general public to come to our aid by giving us credible information so that we track these smugglers and their sponsors so that these things are brought to book.”