Customs seize N1.6bn contraband in Ogun, others

THE Federal Operations Unit, Zone A of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has impounded contraband with a duty paid value of N1,627,214,559 in parts of Ogun State and others between March 19th to April 9th, 2018.

Addressing newsmen in Lagos on Wednesday, Controller of the Unit, Compt. Mohammed Una stated that the seized items included 98 sacks of Indian Hemp, 64 exotic vehicles, 6003 bags of foreign parboiled rice equivalent to 10 trailers, 963 cartons of frozen poultry products, 431 jerrycans of vegetable oil, 163 bales of used clothing, 569 pieces of used tyres, 69 bags of sugar, and four containers among others.

According to the FOU, Zone A Comptroller, “the NCS intercepted various contraband with a duty paid value of N1,461,006,823.

“Similarly, the unit through its intervention recovered N166 million as Duty payment and demand notices on general goods from seaport, airport, and border stations through the wrong classification, transfer of value and shortchange in duty payment in the month of March alone making a cumulative of N1.6 billion within the week under review.

“The seized items include Indian hemp of 1,550kg valued at N74 million, 64 exotics cars worth about N919 million, 6003 bags of Foreign parboiled rice (equivalent to 10 trailers) worth N74 million, 963 cartons of frozen poultry products worth about N6 million, 431 jerry cans of vegetable oil valued at N5 million and 163 bales of used clothing worth N8 million among others.”

Garba informed that the Indian hemp intercepted along Olorunda axis of Ogun state based on intelligence was the highest seizure of hard drugs in the history of FOU Zone A.

In his words, “the 570 parcels and 98 sacks of Indian hemp weighing 1,550kg intercepted based on intelligence along Olorunda axis of Ogun state is the highest seizure of such hard drugs in the history of FOU Zone A.

“You all know what would have happened if it got to the wrongs hand undetected. In the spirit of inter-agency relationship, the seized Indian hemp will be handed over to NDLEA for further investigation.

“Among the detained vehicles include one Toyota land cruiser (2018) one escalades cardilac (2017) one Range Rover, three Toyota Camry (2009, 2010, 2017) among others with a duty paid value worth over N258 million.”

He, however, urged all smugglers and their accomplices to desist from such trade malpractices and invest their money in legitimate business.

“Let me warn all smugglers and intending ones and their accomplices to desist from such malpractices and invest their money in legitimate business as the unit has devised other operational modalities that will give them a run for their money and count their losses and finally end in jail.”

He added that 10 suspects have been arrested in connection with the seizures.

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