The Comptroller General of Customs Strike Force Unit, Zone ‘A’, said it intercepted four container loads of unprocessed woods valued at N373.5 million.
The Coordinator of the unit, Deputy Comptroller of Customs, Ahmadu Shuaibu, who disclosed this while showcasing the items at the government warehouse in Ikorodu on Wednesday said the unprocessed woods were about to be shipped out of the country to Asia when it was intercepted.
The Federal Government had in 2019 outlawed the export of unprocessed woods and allied products to protect the nation’s forest.
Shuaibu said the unit has shifted its attention to identifying dangerous cargoes right inside the seaports before they are cleared.
He said the smugglers of the woods defied extant export prohibition list.
According to him, criminally minded businessmen are riding on the determination of the government to improve on the nation’s export trade, to indulge in the illegal shipment of woods to Asia.
He said the Strike Force would go after those behind the illegal exports and also cripple the finances of the sponsors.
He listed other items seized by the unit to include, 550 cartons of foot wears, 343 rolls of synthetic grass cover and 1,709 bags of 50kg of foreign parboiled rice with a cumulative Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N664.6 million.
He added that the sum of N1.9 billion was recovered as demand notice collected on cargoes that were under declared at the seaport in the first half of the year.
“Within the period January and June 2021, a total of 86 seizures were made and they were found to have contravene different sections of the Customs and excise laws. The goods are worth N1.65 billion in Duty Paid Value (DPV).
“Sequel to meticulous documentary checks, the ICT components of the team recovered the sum of N1.9 billion from Demand Notices (DN) raised within the period under review (January and June 2021),” he said.
Shuaibu urged importers and exporters to be committed to the wellbeing of the nation’s economy by complying with the Federal government extant laws and policies aimed at reviving the moribund industries and to sustain the existing ones.