The Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘C’ Owerri, having intensified its anti-smuggling operations intercepted 5,200 live ammunitions (cartridges of 30GR 70mm Calibre) and various contraband with a duty paid value (DPV) of N378,751,935 between November 23 and December 27, 2020.
Similarly, the unit through its interventions recovered N7,557,731 from demand notices on general goods that tried to cut corners from seaports in the guise of false declaration, transfer of value, and shortchange in duty payment that are meant for the coffers of Federal Government of Nigeria, making a cumulative sum of N386,309,666within the month under review making it a landslide in recent times.
The Controller, Federal Operations Unit, Zone C, Yusuf Lawal, while addressing the media in Owerri Imo State Capital expressed concerns over the trends in arms and ammunition smuggling in recent times making reference to the interception in Lagos in 2017, in kwara in 2018 and just recently in Kebi using different routes and now the interception of 5,200 live ammunition cartridges (30gr 70mm calibre) on December 13, 2020 concealed with other goods and household items in a passenger vehicle, a Toyota Sienna with registration number DKA 237 DW along Nwezenyi Ikom Road Cross River, based on credible and timely intelligence.
Other seized items include 1,215 bags of foreign parboiled rice 50kg each mostly concealed in bags of beans, maize and groundnut seeds all with the aim of deceiving our officers, 38 Jumbo bales of used clothing, 204 cartons of imported tomatoes and four used exotic vehicles including one new bullet proof Toyota Landcruiser 2019 model (without end-user certificate), two Toyota Hilux 2016 and 2015, one Mercedes Benz ML350 2015, and other controlled pharmaceutical products at various locations.
Three suspects were arrested in connection to these different seizures.
Comptroller Yusuf Lawal attributed this achievement to the leadership style of the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) and the entire Management Team of the Nigeria Customs Service for their efforts in recognizing hard work, dedication and commitment. “Without the Management motivation and necessary logistics support, we won’t have attained this feat within this short period”.