The Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service said it intercepted 220 units of vehicles with a Duty Paid Value of N6.4 billion in 2018. This is however against 78 vehicles worth N1.9 billion seized within the review period in 2017.
Public Relations Officer of the Unit, Jerry Attah in a chat with SHIPS & PORTS DAILY said the increase in the number of seized vehicles in 2018 was as a result of improved logistics put in place by the customs high command, which enabled operatives of the unit to effectively patrol the borders and creeks. .
He said the vehicles, which were smuggled through the land border were seized at various car marts, bush parts, and have been forfeited to the Federal Government.
According to him, “Most of the vehicles were seized along the border. Some were able to find their way into the metropolis and based on information they were seized from the car marts, hidden places and from the bush.
“One of the reasons why we have increase in the number of seized vehicles is because the level of anti smuggling activities was high in 2018. More so, the strategies introduced with the coming on board of Comptroller Aliyu Muhammed, also contributed. The motivation and logistics supplied in terms of vehicles for patrol from the headquarters to Federal Operations was also part of what helped us to achieve the feat in 2018.”
In a related development, the unit said it made a total of 92 seizures with a Duty Paid Vale of N148 million in January 2019.
A breakdown of the seizures, according to a document obtained by SHIPS & PORTS DAILY, shows the unit seized 5,949 bags of 50 kg parboiled rice with a DPV of N78.8 million, 106 cartons of 5 litres each and 40 kegs of 25 litres each of vegetable oil worth N1.2 million.
Other items seized include 42,412 kg of donkey skin valued at N7.6 billion; 155 cartons of tomato paste; 510 cartons of pharmaceutical products; 12 units of vehicles valued at N62.8 million; 234 pieces of tyres worth N1.3 million; 13 motorcycles; and 24 bales of textile materials, among others.
The unit also raked in N10.3 million as revenue generated from import duty, value added tax, and 0.5 percent ETLS Levy, among others.
Four suspects were arrested in connection with the seizures.