The Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said it intercepted 78 vehicles with a duty paid value of N1.9 billion between January 2017 and January 2018.
Public Relations Officer of the Unit, Jerry Attah told SHIPS & PORTS DAILY in a phone interview that the said vehicles were smuggled through the land border and have been forfeited to the federal government.
Statistics obtained by SHIPS & PORTS DAILY also showed the unit raked in N246.3 million as revenue raised through demand notice on 85 vehicles impounded between October 2017 and February 2018.
Attah said the vehicles have been released to their owners after proof of genuine customs document was presented and additional duty paid on them.
According to him, the vehicles were imported through the nation’s seaports but were undervalued and accurate import duty was not paid on them. Also included in the number are vehicles imported into the country through the land borders before the ban on the importation of vehicles through the land borders took effect in 2016.
According to Attah, “Those that came through the bush part are outright seizure and they have been forfeited to the federal government, but the vehicles we raised DN for are vehicles that came through the seaport but the duty they paid were low. Most of them always receive headquarters alert for us to look out for such vehicles.
“When we receive the vehicles, they come under detention, so we give a grace period of one month for owners to come with proof of evidence because some will say they bought the vehicles before the ban on vehicles came into effect and maybe as of the time of arrest, they were not with any paper. So we give them the grace of 30 days. If such persons brings the customs document, and duty was paid we release them back to the owner.”