The Federal Operations Unit, Zone A, of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) revealed on Tuesday that its officers conducted successful operations in January 2024, resulting in the seizure of various contraband items across different locations in Ogun State.
Comptroller Ejibunu, head of the unit, disclosed the notable seizures during a press briefing at the unit’s headquarters. The seized items included 104 brand new motorcycles (“Okada”), 11 used vehicles, 23,025 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), 556 cartons of slippers, and a significant quantity of foreign parboiled rice, amounting to 6.5 trailer loads. The total number of seizures amounted to 60, with a Duty Paid Value estimated at N854,156,712.
Ejibunu highlighted the diverse nature of the confiscated items, ranging from foreign rice and used clothes to cannabis sativa (Indian Hemp) and foreign tomato paste. The list also featured items like used tyres, motorcycles, slippers, and used vehicles.
Expressing appreciation for the hard work and dedication of his officers and men, Comptroller Ejibunu commended the diligence exhibited in the previous year. He also acknowledged the compliance of importers, exporters, and agents, emphasizing the importance of business integrity and adherence to Customs procedures and regulations.
Speaking about the unit’s mandate, Ejibunu emphasized the gravity of smuggling, detailing its various forms, including false declarations, concealment of goods, use of unapproved routes, forging of Customs documents, under-payment of Customs duties, and trafficking in prohibited or restricted goods. He stressed the severe repercussions of smuggling on the economy, environment, health, and security.
In their renewed effort to combat smuggling, the unit activated enhanced intelligence gathering and information sharing mechanisms. This strategy identified new smuggling hot spots and schemes employed by smugglers, resulting in the successful seizures with a total duty paid value of N854,156,712.
Ten suspects were arrested in connection with the seized goods, and a revenue recovery of N83,141,803.60 was generated through documentary checks and issuance of demand notices on consignments that were found to have been short-paid.
Comptroller Ejibunu appealed to the public for support with credible information on economic sabotage and suspicious movement of goods, emphasizing that security is the collective responsibility of all citizens. He urged the public to be aware of the consequences of smuggling, emphasizing that curbing this menace requires the collaboration of all patriotic citizens and enforcement agencies.