Operatives of the Nigeria Customs Strike Force, Zone A, have intercepted N643.73 million worth of poisonous donkey hides and skin, charcoal and wood already positioned for export in Lagos.
All the seizures were already stored in a warehouse in Apapa, and were at the verge of being moved into the port for export when it was intercepted.
Showcasing the seizures at the Nigeria Customs Export terminal, in Ikorodu on Wednesday, the Coordinator of the Strike Force unit, Comptroller Ahmadu Shuaibu, said the seized items were discovered stacked in a warehouse not too far from Apapa port and those behind the illegal storage took to their heels on sighting the customs team
Shuaibu revealed that the seizures would have been exported, but for the concerted and deliberate efforts of officers and men of the unit.
He insisted that effort was ongoing to ensure that all those behind the stockpiling of the seizures are brought to book.
He said the export prohibition guideline is in tandem with the Federal Government’s policies for the protection of endangered species, protection of the local economy and to promote the National Forest Policy that was approved by the Federal Executive Council, which according to him, is aimed at assisting the nation’s sustainable management of its vast forest resources against deforestation.
“In the course of duty, the following goods were seized. 1,372 bags of foreign parboiled rice (25kg each, 5×20ft containers of unprocessed logs of woods, 2×40ft (12,500 prices) containers of donkey hides and skin, 6×40ft and 1×20ft (3,891 sacks) containers of charcoal, 229 sacks of shoes, 167 pieces of used tyres and one unit of Mazda bus, with a commutative duty paid value of N643,727,837.00.
“For the period of the time the coordinator took over the mantle of leadership of the team, the sum of N3,001,226,794 was collected as revenue through issuance of Demand Notices. This feat was achieved through meticulous documentary checks of the ICT Component,” he said.
Reacting to attempt by smugglers to cash in on the ember months to flood the nation’s market with smuggled items, Shuibu said more men have been deployed to police the country’s waters and land borders.
He maintained that the unit is determined to deplete the finances of smugglers and their sponsors with in the Zone.