The Western Marine Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said on Thursday that it has impounded rice, cooking oil and poultry products valued at N20.4 million.
The command’s Acting Controller, Mr Johnson Gabriel, told newsmen in Lagos that the seizures were made in two separate operations by his men.
He said on Oct. 15 at the Badagry axis of Lagos State, officers impounded 70 cartons of poultry products, 11 bags of rice and eight kegs of cooking oil, all valued at N567, 982.
Gabriel said the second anti-smuggling operation took place at the Yekeme area of the state on Oct. 18 with the seizure of 2,200 bags of rice valued at N19. 89 million.
“The command made these seizures in two different operations around Badagry and Yekeme area of Lagos State and the calculations showed a duty paid value of over N20 million.
“The actual value of the first seizure is N541, 225 and the duty is N26, 757, giving a duty paid value of N567, 982.
“For the second seizure, the rice is valued at N11.70million and a duty of N8.19 million, giving a duty paid value of N19, 89 million,’’ he said.
The acting controller attributed the success of the operations to the valued contributions of the Customs Intelligence Unit which, he described, as a vital part of the operations of the service.
Gabriel said the operatives worked with the intelligence report they got and did not allow the late night rains to deter them.
“The seizures were made possible through the intelligence report and I must say it took precise calculation because the smugglers wanted to take advantage of the rains.’’
Gabriel, however, said warned smugglers to steer clear of the area, adding “the command is adopting new strategies to deal with the evil act of smuggling.’’
“We keep evolving new strategies in fighting smuggling and one of which is zero tolerance for this act that is detrimental to our nation’s economy