Customs seizes N15.6bn contraband 


Comptroller Usman Yahaya


The Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service said it seized contraband items worth N15.6 billion while it also raised debit notes worth N1.4 billion on importers for wrong classification and false declaration between January to June 2020.

Acting Controller of the unit, Comptroller Usman Yahaya, who briefed newsmen at the weekend, said the smuggled goods, which included used vehicles, pharmaceuticals, textiles, foreign parboiled rice, tomato paste and second hand clothings were seized from smugglers in the South Western States of the country.

He said, “The total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N15.6billion were premised on seized contraband while the N1.4billion were revenue from the unit interventions arising from wrong classifications, transfer of value and false declarations by importers. So, a total of N17billion was recovered for the federal government in the period under review.”

According to the Controller, the unit also intercepted a truck load of banned textile materials worth N565 million, 18,760 bags of foreign parboiled rice smuggled into the country from Benin Republic and 64 units of exotic vehicles detained for duty evasion and under payment.

Giving a breakdown of the seizure, he said, “A quick glance of our spectacular seizure reports from 7th January, 2020, shows 64 exotic vehicles including two bullet proofs, 18,760 bags of 50kg of foreign parboiled rice valued at N469million, 1,338kg of Indian Hemp worth N201million, and 147 sacks (9,504kg) of Pangolin scales worth N10.4billion.

“Others are 3,059 cartons of tomato paste, 10,653 cartons of frozen poultry products, 5,423 kegs of 25 litres each of vegetable oil, 56,472 bundles of printed textiles valued at N565 million, 66 packs of tramadol, 872 bales of second hand clothing worth N61million, 11,077 cartons of frozen products worth N177million.

“Also intercepted were 5,423 kegs of vegetable oil valued at N87million, 7,549 jerry cans of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) valued at N27million, five container loads of pharmaceuticals valued at N3billion, 64 units of motorcycles used for smuggling among others.”

While warning smugglers to embrace legitimate business, the Controller said the seizure were made through intelligence and hard work by officers of the unit.

He said, “We are always a step ahead of them through intelligence gathering and steadfastness. We won’t get tired until the Service suppressed smuggling finally from the South West.”