Customs, Police raid TCIPC for suspected touts
… CAC issues stern warning against malpractices
There was pandemonium at the first and second gates of the Tin-Can Island Port Complex (TCIPC) yesterday when a combined team of personnel of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and operatives of the Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) raided the neighbourhood for suspected undesirable elements, including touts posing as Customs agents.
The Customs-Police team led by a Customs officer simply identified Inua, SHIPS & PORTS DAILY gathered, allegedly ended up nabbing innocent Customs agents, including the Public Relation Officer of the PTML Chapter, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Prince Adeola Gani.
The raiding party, it was learnt, had been very violent, leaving their captives whom they conveyed, even with varying degrees of injuries, to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Lagos State Police Command, Panti Street, Yaba for interrogation.
When SHIPS & PORTS DAILY contacted the Customs Public Relations Officer of the Tin-can Island Port Area Command, Deputy Superintendent Chris Osunkwo, he stated that the raid was part of measures employed by the command to minimise the influx of unauthorized persons in the port.
Addressing newsmen earlier on the command’s performance for last year, Customs Area Controller (CAC), Comptroller Tunji Aremu, noted that touting within the port has been a major challenge facing the command.
Aremu warned those wandering around the port with forged documents to steer away from the command.
“Apart from the bad trailers coming to the ports, most of which are not good enough to carry containers, the major challenge we have in the port is touting. Those who have nothing to do in the port come to disturb genuine importers and agents in the transaction of their business,” the CAC said.
He added: “There is no room for anything called MO (machined outside – industry parlance for fake clearing documents). Tin-Can Island Port Command is a changed place now. You will all agree with me that the era whereby anything goes is gone, things are now done in the right manners.”
He explained that one of the strategies the command is using to checkmate machined outside job is the suspension of licences used to clear such consignments.
“When you are found wanting to defraud the government, and you allow your license to be used by touts, then we will suspend the licensc and that is one of the strategy being carried out to make sure that the system is sanitised,” Aremu said.
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