The Customs Comptroller General Strike Force, Zone ‘A’ has intercepted bags of smuggled rice, pangolin scales, cartons of red wine and other seizures worth over ₦1,009,676,000.
The Zonal Coordinator of the team, DC Mohammed Sani Yusuf stated during a press conference on Wednesday in Lagos that these items were seized in the month of October/November.
DC Yusuf also stated that in the efforts to prevent revenue loss through undervaluation, underpayments, and wrong classification, the sum of ₦537,905,304 was collected following issuance of demand notices to defaulting importers.
A breakdown of the seizures showed; 1010 bags of 50kg foreign parboiled rice, 376.4kg of pangolin scales, 100 cartons of red wine, 40 kg of Indian Hemp, 58 bales of used clothing, 35 unit’s x 25 litres of jerry Cans containing PMS.
“In our quest to safeguard our country from the selfish activities of economic saboteurs, collect revenue for the federal government, and to provide security. We have remained resolute and undeterred at enforcing government’s policies and Customs extant laws.
“In tandem with the support provided by the management of the Service under the leadership of Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali CFR (Rtd), our strategies are reviewed to defeat smugglers game of concealment, false declaration, underpayment etc. during the yuletide period.
“Seizures displayed are a reflection of officers’ commitment to duty, and none compromise posture in the discharge of our statutory responsibilities; aimed at protecting the national economy and preventing the importation of prohibited, and harmful goods”
According to Yusuf, two suspects were arrested in connection with some Customs offences during the period under review, both of them were released on administrative bail.
While speaking on the seizure of the pangolin scales, he said “May I remind you that a ban was imposed on the international trade on pangolins and their parts in 2016 convention held in flora South Africa.
“Under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Some species of animals are conserved from going into extinction, hence, pangolin among other animals have been subject to exploitation which has continued till date but little are known about their natural history, status that must be conserved. Campaigns and sensitization on the poaching of pangolins must be intensified since it plays a dominant role on the ecosystem thereby protecting the forest from termites and other insect destructions
“It would interest you to know that since our resumption till date, we have cumulatively generated ₦5,254,784,650 when compared with last year revenue ₦3,588,016,694 with difference of ₦1,666,767,956 representing 32% increment through demand Notice, underpayment and wrong classification.
“We have also made a good numbers of seizures with a total DPV of Eight billion five hundred million, nine and three thousand six seventy-three naira ₦8,500,903,673.00.
“Finally, as we intensify our efforts to continually seize smuggled items, and arrest suspected perpetrators, it is our hope that these seizures, revenue recoveries, and arrests would serve as deterrent to would be smugglers and duty evaders” he concluded