Smuggling activities and the porosity of the Nigeria Seaports, Land Border posts between our neighbouring countries has become so worrisome that it had made the Nigerian Government in many occasions introduced several policies to address the prevailing challenges.
This in turn led to the Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd.), the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to explore full enforcement of 24hour operations orchestrated by the Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘A’, as the Command Anti-Snuggling teams rattles the unrelenting Smugglers, seized two containers in a truck belonging to Alhaji Aliko Dangote.
Barely few weeks after having a media parley in Lagos on seizures made, the Area Controller of the Command, Comptroller Mohammed Uba Garba, this time declared over 2,149 pieces of used tyres with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N11, 604, 600.
The FOU Zone ‘A’ recent achievements by making Smugglers lose huge invested money in illegal business seem to open new chapters of fraudulent activities within the Nigerian ports, with this, the Command impounded 39 Commodities at various locations as it realized quite over N28,954,448,75k (twenty eight million, nine hundred and fifty four thousand, four hundred and forty eight naira, seventy five kobo, the money was made from duty payments and demand notices on general goods on infractions.
Comptroller Mohammed while once again releasing the statistics of his seizures at a media briefing, disclosed that the total estimated value of the items amounted to a whopping sum of N200 million.
He said that 15 suspects leading to the seizures are already in Customs custody, adding that few of them got bail, while others are still waiting for law court prosecution.
“He said, I gave an assurance that after meeting the press on 14th June, 2017, each month, we will highlight most of our major achievements in the war against smugglers. I am highly optimistic that the war against those that tries to short change government of duty payment will not find it easy because after several meetings and dialogue with other security agencies, the Command is ready to give them a good fight.
“Items so far seized with Duty Paid Value (DPV) is N200, 995, 631. 08k between 13th June and10th July, 2017”, others include; 1,442 cartons of pharmaceutical medicament, 108 cartons of wine, 41 cartons of Tomatoes, 37 Cartons of Juice which were not declared, 449 Cartons of Eva Soap.
Among the items intercepted is a used Ford Focus, 68 used Fridges, 2,252 units of Double Burner declared as Stove, 2,810 Cartons of Spaghetti, 1,200 Cartons of Frozen Poultry products as well as 400 Bales of used Clothes, 1,096 bags of Parboiled Rice of 50kg each seized in three trucks, 2,149 pieces of used Tyres, 5,014 pieces of same used tyres etc.
The Controller who took journalists to where the items were warehoused, said that some items impounded was as a result of false declaration and under declaration of goods by importers and their agents.
He explained that in order to win the war against illegal trade at our seaports and the Land Borders between Nigeria and Benin Republic, the general public must assist in giving information to the security agencies, everyone’s hand must be on deck, he said.
The Director, Investigation and enforcement of NAFDAC, Kingsley Ejiofor while receiving the seized Pharmaceutical Medicament, said the drugs were not registered with the right authority concerned, because their mindset was to beat the Nigeria Customs Service, NDLEA, NAFDAC, SSS, Police and other security checks.
According to him, the drugs were imported from India with the inscription of the United Nations (UN), adding that the illicit drugs are harmful to health and can easily lead to death, he said.