June 15, 2024

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Yuletide: Customs promises tough time for smugglers, seizes 15 trailers of rice, tomato paste, banger worth N1bn

Ahead of the yuletide, the Acting Controller, Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service, Hussein Ejibunu has promised tough time for smugglers operating within the Zone, saying they will be confronted with the worst Christmas this December.

Ehibunu stated this as he showcased some of the seizures recorded by the unit in the month of November.

Addressing journalists at the unit’s headquarters in Lagos on Wednesday, Ejibunu said the unit has continually intensified its onslaught against smugglers and duty evaders.

This, he said, yielded  seizures worth N1,021billion within the review period.

He added that the unit also achieved the collection of N43.5million through issuance of  demand notices (DN) from detected and identified shortfalls in duty payments.

Ejibunu noted that the collected revenue would have been lost through different modes of duty evasion such as undervaluation, under declaration, application of wrong Harmonized System (HS) codes and false declarations, but for “our meticulous oversight and prevention as a layer of checks”.

Giving a breakdown of the seizures, Ejibunu said they include 8,999 bags of 50kg foreign parboiled rice equivalent of 15 trailer loads, 85,300 litres of PMS, 812 pieces of used tyres, 1/40 foot container STC Charcoal and 2/20 foot container containing 4,004 carton of tomato paste.

Yuletide: Customs promises tough time for smugglers, seizes 15 trailers of rice, tomato paste, banger worth N1bn
Seized cartons of banger

Others are five units of used vehicles (Tokunbo), 40 cartons of 4 &5 litres of vegetable oil, 128 parcels of Indian Hemp, 13 cartons of knock out, 243 bales of used clothing, 2,976 cartons of new shoes and 37 cartons of used poultry.

He said out of the 14 suspects arrested for different offences during the review period, 13 have been released on administrative bail, while one is in custody.

“Ahead of the yuletide season, Federal Operations Unit in Zone A has recharged it’s all round the clock operations across all South West states of the country, lawfully confronting smugglers and duty evaders as provided for in the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA).

“Without exception to the month of November, we have continually intensified our onslaught against smuggling. Dutiful implementation of Customs extant laws by this unit has yielded seizures worth a total duty paid value (DPV) of One Billion, Twenty-one Million, Two Hundred and Sixty-three Thousand, Three Hundred and Fifty Naira (N1,021,263,350).

“As the year draws to a close, let me reiterate our warning to smugglers, intending smugglers and their collaborators; that FOU Zone A, would watch, remain active and vigilant at all times. We shall vigorously go after them wherever they travel through, or store smuggled items, even if the smuggled goods are stored in their bedrooms, we shall lawfully swoop on them. It is an ongoing battle that we shall not relent on.

“Without mincing words, I dare say that smugglers would be confronted with the worst Christmas in their life of crime, this December. Not only are we going to seize their wares, but we are also determined to arrest them for prosecution,” he said.

Expressing appreciation to the Customs management, Ejibunu said the logistics support provided by the Comptroller General and his management team including the patrol vehicles received and other operational support played contributory roles in the seizures recorded by the unit.


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