Customs FOU recovers N17bn from importers, smugglers

From Anthony Nwachukwu, Lagos

The Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said it raised debit notes (DNs) worth N17 billion from import faulty declarations from January to June 2020.

It also intercepted and confiscated from smugglers various contraband goods worth N565 million, including used vehicles, pharmaceuticals, textiles, foreign parboiled rice, tomato paste and used clothing, among others.

Making the disclosure over the weekend, the Ag Compt. Usman Yahaya said that N15.6 billion was generated from contrabands seized from smugglers while N 1.4 billion was raised from wrong classification, transfer of value and false declaration of cargoes.

According to him, “the total duty paid value (DPV) of N15.6 billion was from seized contrabands while the N1.4 billion was revenue from the unit interventions arising from wrong classifications, transfer of value and false declarations by importers.
“So, a total of N17 billion was recovered for the Federal Government in the period under review.”

He revealed that the unit also intercepted a truck load (56,472 bundles) of banned printed textile materials worth N565 million from Benin Republic, as well as 18,760x50kg bags of foreign parboiled rice valued at N469 million.

Others included 64 exotic vehicles, now being detained for duty evasion and underpayment, 1,338kg of Indian Hemp worth N201 million, and 147 sacks (9,504kg) of Pangolin scales worth N10.4 billion.

There were also “3,059 cartons of tomato paste, 10,653 cartons of frozen poultry products, 5,423 x 25 litres vegetable oil valued at N87 million, 66 packs of tramadol, 872 bales of used clothing worth N61 million, and 11,077 cartons of frozen products worth N177 million.”

Also intercepted were 7,549 jerry cans of Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) valued at N27 million, five containers of phamaciticals valued at N3 billion, and 64 motorcycles (used for smuggling) valued at N565 million, among others.

While commending the command’s intelligence efforts that led to the seizures, Yahaya urged smugglers to embrace legitimate business, warning that the unit was ready to send them out of their illegitimate engagements.

“My message to smugglers is to stop smuggling and embrace legitimate business because the unit is ready to run them out of business.

“We are always a step ahead of them through intelligence gathering and steadfastness. We won’t get tired until the service suppresses smuggling from the South West.”

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