THE Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Colonel Hameed Ali (retd), has said that the Apapa Customs Command had intercepted 16 containers of tyres, falsely declared as paper board and machine, with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N116.2 million.
Ali made the disclosure at a news conference at the Apapa Customs Command in Lagos State.
“The company which imported the tyres is enjoying the facility of fast track, which is given to the factory for quick processes to reduce cost and speed the time.
“Some of those materials can be perishable and this is why customs gives some factories the facility to move their containers and thereafter customs officers will inspect the consignment in their factories.”
He said that all the tyres in the 16 containers were automatically seized and the law allowed customs to prosecute whoever was involved in the importation of the consignment.
Ali said that if it was discovered that some officers were involved, such officers would be prosecuted along with the clearing agents.
He said that it had been specified in the customs’ laws that seized goods would be destroyed after getting court condemnation.
“We have 16 containers of new tyres on ground while 10 containers of the tyres with false declaration had been moved out of the port.
“We are now investigating and we will track the whereabouts of those containers. Although, the agents had lost his fasttrack facility and licence automatically,” Ali said.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the Customs Area Controller (CAC) Apapa Command, Mr Willy Egbudin, said that the containers were falsely declared as paper board and machines for a steel industry.
A suspect, who was apprehended along with the seized containers, Mr Dominic Obijaku, said he did not know what was in the containers.