The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘A’ said on Wednesday that it has in the last five weeks, intercepted various contrabands with duty paid value (DPV) of N356,205,050.78.
Briefing newsmen in his office in Lagos on Wednesday, Mohammed Uba Garba, Customs area controller of the command, said that the command was able to record the feat after the management intensified its operational modalities to meet up with the current smuggling tactics in the society.
He said that the command also recover the sum of over N39.4 million from cargo with under paid value, bringing the total revenue to N395.6 million.
Garba listed the intercepted contraband to include 11 used vehicles; 4,227 bags of foreign parboiled rice; frozen poultry products; vegetable oil; Indian Hemp; medicaments; used tyres; scrap metals; wet blue; electric cables; unprocessed woods; bales of used clothes and shoes.
“Last Friday, we trailed and evacuated 3,000 bags of smuggled rice from 10 houses along waterside in Ere Village of Ado-Odo Local Government of Ogun based on intelligence gathering,” he disclosed.
According to him, the villagers were also packing the rice to the bush as the raid was going on, showing the extent to which smugglers can take risk.
“The 11 seized vehicles include two Lexus jeeps; one Toyota Rav4; two Toyota Camry cars; five Mercedes Benz and one IVECO truck while the vehicles alone had DPV of N125.4 million.
“We also have another 17 assorted vehicles in detention due to infractions in their documentation and the owners have not been able to provide relevant Customs papers. They have a DPV of N141.9 million,” he added.
The CAC further stated that a total of 14 containers were intercepted over false declaration and breech of Customs Law. “Seven of the containers had unprocessed woods for export; one had scrap metals; another one had wet blue, which falls under prohibited items for export while three containers had medicaments without appropriate Customs documentation.”
Garba, who said that eight suspects have been arrested in connection with the 128 seizures, noted that two containers had made-in-Nigeria cables but were imported from China and were declared as electric distribution board and ballast.
The intercepted medicaments were handed over to the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA); National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON).
Receiving the seized drugs, Declan Ugwu, assistant director, Investment and Enforcement of NAFDAC, who thanked the NCS for their due diligence in service, assured Nigerians that the agency would further carry necessary investigations on the seizures , before making decision on them.