May 30, 2023

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14 arrested as Customs FOU intercepts 16 truckloads of rice, others

14 arrested as Customs FOU intercepts 16 truckloads of rice, others

The Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) says it intercepted 16 truckloads containing 9,917 bags of rice and other contraband from suspected smugglers in the month of May 2022.

Acting Controller of Unit, Comptroller Hussein Ejibunu, who disclosed this at a press briefing in Lagos on Thursday said 14 suspects were arrested in connection with the smuggled items.

He puts the value of the goods intercepted which also included 41,950 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), four containers of unprocessed wood, 1,041 bales of used clothes and five units of vehicles at over N818million.

Other items seized are 812 ×5Kg and 120 X 2kg bags of basmati rice, 8,500 pieces of used tyres, 599 cartons of frozen poultry products, 116.3 kilograms of Indian Hemp, 29 units of motor cycles, 54 cartons of creams, 42 units of Tiger generators and 3,260 pairs of used shoes.

The Customs boss disclosed that the unit also generated N64.3million from Demand Notices on goods that exited the ports without paying accurate duties to the federal government.

According to him, in a renewed vigor to fight the menace of smuggling, the Unit had re-strategized its operations with a view to block revenue leakages and curb the import/export of prohibited goods.

“While undertaking this great task, we employed the use of intelligence and meticulous documentary checks to recover the noticeably lost revenues, intercepted goods suspected to have contravened Customs laws and seized those that fall under the prohibition lists.


“High desire by majority of Nigerians to consume foreign parboiled rice, has a nexus with the number of smugglers scrambling to import the product in large quantities. Citizens are once again, reminded of the need to support and key into the federal government’s policy aimed at supporting the growth of its local product.

“During the preceding month, officers of this Unit were on high alert along the port and the border corridors to ensure that, the national economy is protected from the activities of recalcitrant importers and traders. In the course of duty, various goods were intercepted for different Customs offences, ranging from; accurate duty payment evasion, concealment, under declaration, false declaration, transfer of value, to smuggling.

“These seizures were made from various locations within the Zone (South-western States with 14 suspects arrested in connection with the crimes. The cumulative Duty Paid Value of the seized items is N818million.”

“Consequent upon painstaking documentary checks on some already released cargoes; duties found to have been under paid were reviewed and demand notices issued, the sum of N64.3million was paid as revenue into the federal government coffers,” he said.


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