News

Customs Seizes Trucks Of Smuggled Rice, Petrol That Worth Around N10.39Bn

Customs Seizes Trucks Of Smuggled Rice, Petrol That Worth Around N10.39Bn

Customs Seizes Trucks Of Smuggled Rice, Petrol That Worth Around N10.39Bn 

The Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), on Wednesday, disclosed that the unit intercepted contraband worth N10.39 billion from January to December 2023.

Speaking to journalists at the unit’s headquarters, Ikeja, the Customs Area Controller, Compt. Hassan Ejibunu, said the unit intercepted 1,119 contraband in the South-West in the year under review.

According to him, the contraband intercepted are 139 trucks (83,170 bags) of foreign parboiled rice; 13,706 25-litre kegs of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS); 8,372 Kg of Indian Hemp; 2,942 pieces of tyres; 2,153 bales of used clothes and 3,095 cartons of frozen poultry.

Others are 320 cartons of illicit drugs; 15 pieces of bulletproof jackets; 15 pieces of jack knives and 68 pieces of military camouflage; 450 drums of 106 kg of carbide; 1 X 40 ft and 2 X 20 ft containers found to contain charcoal and 132 units of foreign used vehicles.

He said, “Last year, we made 1,119 seizures worth a total duty paid value of N10,395,123,943 consisting of rice, vehicles, marijuana, tramadol, used tyres, poultry products, footwear, petroleum products etc. The most prominent of the seizures is foreign parboiled rice which amounted to 139 trailer loads (83,170 bags of 50kg).”

The customs boss, however, disclosed that 136 suspected smugglers were arrested at various points within the unit’s area saying they were charged to court and are at different stages of prosecution.

He added, “16 people were convicted through the Federal High Courts for committing offences of improper importation, assault of Customs officers, being in possession of foreign parboiled rice and for being in possession of Pangolin scales meant for export. Some other smuggling-related cases instituted in the courts are at various stages of prosecution and would be followed up diligently. This year 2024, we shall continue, through our legal seat, to follow all pending court cases to logical conclusions.

“The unit was able to recover a total of N851.7 million as revenue through meticulous document checking. We were able to identify shortfalls in duty payments from which demand notices were issued and accurate revenue was recovered. These are revenues that would have been lost by the federal government to the pockets of some uncompliant businessmen.”

He, however, warned importers to be compliant saying noncompliant importers would lose their investment.

Ejibunu also warned smugglers from attacking their officers saying, “We shall lawfully arrest and prosecute any individual involved in the attack of our officers who are discharging their legitimate responsibilities. No attacker of our personnel will be spared from facing the full wrath of the law.”

“I want to reiterate that our battle to prevent smuggling will be intensified this year as we shall not relent in making seizures, arrests and prosecution of criminals who contravene the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023. If they don’t desist from their criminal ways, this year will be tougher for them because they will lose their investments and freedom when arrested.”

Lastly, the newly promoted Controller expressed the unit’s profound appreciation to the Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, and members of the management team, compliant traders within the zone and other stakeholders.

Customs Seizes Trucks Of Smuggled Rice, Petrol That Worth Around N10.39Bn

“On behalf of the officers and men of this unit express our profound appreciation to the Comptroller-General of Customs, members of the management team, compliant traders within our zone and you, our friends from the media for all the publicity you have helped us achieve in educating Nigerians on the dangers of smuggling,” he said.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button