Customs impounds N112.61m contraband in Owerri


The Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘C’ of Nigeria Customs Service in Owerri said it made 17 seizures of various contraband items with duty paid value of N112.61m in March.

It said it also recovered N48.74m underpayments in the month.

Comptroller Garba Mohammed, the Customs Area Controller of the Unit, disclosed this while briefing newsmen on the activities of the zone in Owerri on Friday.

The unit also intercepted and detained a consignment of medicaments worth N178.2m in duty paid value.

This brings to N250.95m, the total duty paid value of seizures made in March.

The comptroller, while giving a breakdown of the seizures, said that rice topped the list of seized articles with 2,455 bags of rice with duty paid value of N775.58m.

Also seized were 1,266 foot wears with duty paid value of N6.07m, 307 used tyres worth of N3.78m, 100 used shoes valued at N8.10m and 40 bales of used clothes with duty paid value of N5.28m.

The unit also seized three vehicles with duty paid value of N4.05m.

Mohammed gave details of the medicaments intercepted by his officers in the Agbor axis of the zone as 268 cartons of Tramadol, 202 cartons of Pullegra, 36 cartons of Reall Octra and 928 packets of Tramadol.

He said samples of the various medicaments had been sent to the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control for tests and verification, while the consignment was being detained for further investigations.

He said the customs would remain unflinching in its mission to protect citizens of Nigeria by barring contraband and harmful food items from the country.

Mohammed, who also took newsmen to government warehouse in Benin, Edo, housing other seized items, said that the nefarious activities of smugglers were endangering health and safety of Nigerians.

He said that smuggling was also affecting the economy of the country and posed a threat to national security.

Mohammed reiterated his unflinching resolve to make the zone uncomfortable for smugglers and urged Nigerians to be patriotic and report smuggling activities in their areas to the service.

The area controller said that any valuable information forwarded to the unit would be treated in confidence.

He commended the untiring efforts of the officers and men of the unit, whom he said, had continually contributed to revenue generation amounting to millions of naira.

Mohammed said the continuous support of the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd), and his management team in the areas of staff training and provision of working tools had further strengthened anti-smuggling operations of the zone.

He restated the readiness of his zone to thwart efforts of unscrupulous elements bent on economic sabotage.

Mohammed advised smugglers, as well as fraudulent importers, to channel their resources towards legitimate trade and economic ventures and desist from smuggling.

The area controller said the NCS in the zone would not renege on its statutory function of suppressing smuggling.