• Tue. Mar 5th, 2024

Customs Strike Force ‘A’ Intercepts Smuggled Rice, Others Worth N7.4 Billion

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Comptroller General of Customs (CGC) Strike Force Team Zone “A’’, says the Zone generated N7.4 billion in four weeks.

Deputy Comptroller Mohammed Yusuf, the Coordinator of the Zone, disclosed this to Newsmen today, Wednesday and stated that his team has been able to raise the anti-smuggling battle with enhanced 24hour, round the clock patrols leading to seizures of smuggled items.

He said that the total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of Seven Billion, Four Hundred and Thirty Two Million, Five Hundred and Ninety Six Thousand, Seventy five Naira (N7,432,596,075), with Four (4) arrested suspects in connection with some of the seizures during the period under review.

According to DC Yusuf, the Unit anti smuggling operations is recharged against perpetrators of illegalities while assuring genuine business persons to go about their activities without worries.

“Our operational capacity received a big boost with additional new Toyota Hilux vehicles from the Comptroller-General of Customs, which provided support for
suppressing smuggling, prevent revenue loss, protects environmental degradation, unlawful wildlife poaching and in all, protect the national economy.

Specifically speaking, importing what we can produce threatens our economy; unlawful felling of trees degrades the environment and promotes deforestation while illegal killing of wildlife creatures and endangered species like pangolin and donkeys for their scales and skins respectively, could lead to these animals extinction.

In Yusuf’s words: “With these and other tasks under our purview, we shall resolute and unrelenting to arrest perpetrators, seize prohibited items from them or their accomplices, and promote lawful trade using the legal instrument of the extant Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) CAP 45LFN.

“Notable among the seized items are: seized over 8,000 bags of foreign parboiled rice of 50kg each, equivalent of 13 trucks, 1x40ft container of Tramadol, Sildenafil citrate, 1613 bottles of 100ml Codeine,

Other seizures includes 1079 bales of secondhand clothing, 3,695 pieces of used tyres, 966 slabs of Donkey skin, 77,760 pairs of new Ladies shoes, 5,250 pairs of used shoes, 197 logs of wood.

“Through our meticulous checks on import documents, we were able to recover the sum of Three Billion, One Hundred and Forty Million, Seven Hundred and Fifty
Eight Thousand, Five Hundred and Ninety Nine Naira (N3,140,758,599) through issuance of demand notices; this was done sequel to our discoveries of short payment of duties within the period of six (6) months.

This amount would have been lost, but for our vigilance and uncompromising disposition in the discharge of our duties.

Within the same period in 2021, a total collection of One Billion, Eight Hundred and Eight Million, Three Hundred and Sixteen Thousand, Three Hundred and Ninety One Naira (N1,808,316,391) was made, which shows an increase of One Billion, Three Hundred and Thirty Two Million, Two Hundred and Forty Two Thousand, Two Hundred and Eight Naira (N1,332,242,208) representing 73% of revenue increase.

“I want to use this opportunity to reiterate that our efforts for the second half of the rear is already invigorated, and we shall ensure that smugglers and enemies of our economy have no hiding place within our area of responsibility.

According to Yusuf, “I advise all importers, agents, haulage operators and the entire business community operating in the South West to keep themselves abreast with the import and export prohibition lists and guidelines, as ignorance of law is not an excuse.

“This is just the beginning of heated anti smuggling action which we have embarked upon in the entire South West area of the country.

“We are ready to run smugglers out of town with the full support and encouragement of our CGC, Col Hameed Ibrahim Ali, Rtd. This task is aimed at protecting our national economy and preventing dangerous importation as well as exportation that contradicts the law.

Hyacinth Beluchukwu Nwafor

Hyacinth Beluchukwu Nwafor is a seasoned journalist and the CEO/Founder Belch Digital Communications, publishers of Hybrid News Nigeria.

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