The Federal Operations Unit, Zone C, Owerri of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said it made 70 seizures with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N663million between January and March this year.
While inspecting the seized items at the NCS premises in Owerri, Imo State capital on Thursday, Area Controller in charge of the unit, Comptroller Haruna Mamudu said the underpayment recovered from the impounded items stands at N214.9m while more than 34 suspects were arrested in connection with the seizure within the period under review.
According to Haruna, 18 cases arising from the seizures are now pending in court.
Some of the goods confiscated include 44 vehicles, 380 cartons of plastic articles, 1,656 pieces of used tyres, 3,614 cartons of imported frozen poultry products as well as 818 cartons of foreign soap and detergents.
Others are 181 bales of textile fabrics, 737 pieces of bags and suitcases and 85 bundles of footwear as well as 120 packages of furniture and 906 cartons of unregistered drugs – all of which were seized on the Benin, Agbor, Onitsha- Asaba, Owerri, Calabar and Aba/Eleme axis.
He added that over 19 trucks with 50kg rice also impounded by his men have been detained for proper and thorough investigation. He vowed to bring to book those caught in the illegal business, adding that there are no more hiding places for smugglers in the country as men of the NCS are more than ever ready to dislodge them wherever they are.
“Our men are now better trained, well equipped and motivated to deal with the nefarious activities of smugglers that have continued to inflict a devastating blow on the nation’s economy,” he said.
Haruna added that the crusade against smugglers, their agents and collaborators has been intensified and would be pursued with stronger vigour until the battle is won.
He advised those still trapped in the illicit deal of smuggling to desist forthwith in their own interest, just as he appealed to members of the public with useful information about smugglers to always make such information available to his men or other sister agencies for prompt action.
Copyright Ships & Ports Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit given to www.shipsandports.com.ng as the source.