The Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘A’ Ikeja, Lagos in the months of January and February 2017 intercepted various contrabands and other goods on detention with a duty paid value (DPV) of N713,838,950.00.
It equally recovered N650,314,436.90 from duty payments and demand notices on general goods that tried to beat the system from seaports, airport and border stations in the guise of false declaration, transfer of value, and shortchange in duty payment that are meant for the Federal Government, making a cumulative N1,364,153,386.90.
While commending his officers, the Unit Controller, Haruna Mamudu said in the months under review, 197 different seizures were recorded comprising foreign parboiled rice, frozen poultry products, vegetable oil, smuggled vehicles, Indian hemp, arms, fake pharmaceuti-cal/medicamentand various general merchandise.
He however noted that 23000 bags of 50kg of foreign parboiled rice with a duty paid value of N149,500,000.00 is still under seal in an unnamed warehouse in Lagos awaiting relevant importation docu-ment for further necessary action. Also, Demand Notices of over N100million has been issued to two auto dealers/assemblers under customs seal awaiting payment for infractions on their import transactions, while some are still undergoing court trials. Over 16x40ft containers under detention are on thorough investigation and appropriate DN would be raised and seizures effected where applicable, he said.
He also gave insights into seizure of ‘1,870 bags of foreign parboiled rice and 43 jerrycans of vegetable oil from the front of an unnamed warehouse in Sango Ota Motor park in Ogun State by his men.’
The seizures had led to protests, with shop owners alleging the operatives broke into their shops in the night to seize their goods.
But the controller challenged those who might have genuine importation doc-ument from the seaport to come forward for their claims rather than breach-ing the law of the Land.
He added that the Unit’s action is in conformity with the law as enshrined in sections 147, 148, and 158 of the Customs Excise Management Act (CEMA) Cap C45 LFN 2004.
He appealed to all well meaning Nigerians to see smuggling as a crime, evil, and threat to national development and security. He added that the war against these economic saboteurs is a collective responsibility of every patriotic Nigerians He therefore enjoined all hands to be on deck on the fight against smuggling rather than aiding and abetting these criminal elements.