The Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone ‘A’ Ikeja of the Nigeria Customs Service said it arrested 179 suspects in connection with smuggling of various contraband with a duty paid value of N4.004billion between January and December 2017.
The unit also recorded N1.956billion within the same period from duty payments and demand notices from importers who tried to beat the system from seaports, airport and border stations through wrong classification, transfer of value, and short change in duty payment that are meant for the federal government.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Monday, Public Relations Officer of the Unit, Jerry Attah put the total seizures at 1,046, comprising foreign parboiled rice, frozen poultry products, vegetable oil, smuggled vehicles, Indian hemp, arms, fake pharmaceutical/medicaments and various general merchandises.
The Controller, Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘A’ Comptroller Mohammed Uba Garba said despite the challenges in 2017, the Unit recorded the highest seizures and revenue so far in the history of the Command.
Uba attributed this feat to leadership of the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) and the entire management team of the Service for their efforts in recognizing hard work and putting square begs in square holes.
“Without the management motivation and necessary logistic support, we won’t have achieved this feat within this period,” he said.
The Controller while commending the commitment and diligence of the officers and men of the FOU ‘A’ for thwarting the antics of some dare devil smugglers who used different methods to deceive the service, further charged them to be professional and diligent in performing their statutory responsibilities in the year 2018.
He enjoined all hands to be on deck in the fight against these economic saboteurs who according to him ‘mean no good for the economy’.
He added that smuggling was a global phenomenon, which cannot be curbed entirely but can be brought to its barest minimum.
He warned all would be smugglers and their accomplices to desist from such illegality and invest their money in legitimate business, as the Unit has devised other operational modalities that give them a run for their money and count their losses, if not jailed.
He thanked all security agencies, including the Nigerian Army and the Police for offering logistics support and cooperation towards winning the war against smuggling within the southwest zone.