Customs seizes $50m cash at Lagos airport

Comptroller Jane Soboiki
Comptroller Jane Soboiki

The Murtala Muhammed Airport Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said it has handed over the sum of $50 million seized by its officials for lack of proper documentation to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).  

The Federal Government’s currency policy mandates any person travelling out of the country with more than $10,000 or equivalent in other currencies to declare same on a Customs Currency Declaration Form (CDF).  

Controller of the Command, Comptroller Jane Soboiki, while speaking on the seizure at the weekend, said a consignment of 36 packages weighing 563kg, which contained the $50 million, arrived the country on an aircraft on March 21, 2019 without proper documentation.

The consignment, she said, was subsequently handed over to the EFCC for further investigation.  

Meanwhile, the Command said it recorded seizures and detentions of various items with a duty paid value of N382 million within the first half of 2019.

According to a statement signed by the Public Relations Officer of the command, Haruna Ephraim, a copy of which was made available to SHIPS & PORTS DAILY, the command also collected a total sum of 29.124 billion in the first half of 2019 as against N22.724 billion collected in the corresponding period of 2018. 

The amount, the statement said, represents 112.4 percent increase; surpassing not just the set revenue target for the first half of 2019 with N3.2 billion but also that of 2018 half year with N6.4 billion.

Among the items seized were 1002 pieces of Nigeria Air Force berets, 289 packages of different makes of drones, 272 pieces of two way Walkie-Talkie Radios and 152 packages of camouflage inner vest, combat shorts as well as camouflage polo shirt without the mandatory end user certificate.

Others are cocaine imported from Pakistan, concealed in two cartons and declared as household items. The cocaine was seized at the NAHCO shed. 

The command also seized hard drugs suspected to be American cannabis concealed in baby doll.

The seized drugs, according to the Customs Command, have been handed over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).