Customs FOU ‘A’ Bursts Syndicate Forging Customs Clearing Documents to Import Vehicles
…Impound 9 Trailer Load of Rice, 512 Cartons of Generators
By DAPO OLAWUNI
In continuation of its onslaught against smuggling and economic saboteurs, the Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service Ikeja Lagos, has bursted and arrested a two-man syndicate that forges Customs clearing documents to import vehicles through Cotonou port.
In a press conference on Tuesday in Lagos, Acting Controller of Customs FOU, Zone ‘A’, Hussein Kehinde Ejibunu said that the arrest of the syndicate was sequel to the arrest of one suspect; Shuaibu Kolo with a 2007 Mercedes Benz along Ajilete-Idiroko Road of Ogun State.
According to him, the arrest of Kolo and in-depth investigation led to the unravelling of over 600 pictures of vehicles domiciled in Benin Republic awaiting to undergo forged clearing process by the same criminal syndicate.
The Acting Controller stated that items recovered from the suspects in the course of arrest and investigation includes: Fake Customs valuation stamp, Fake Customs Duty Chart Book on vehicles, Fake Customs documents and vehicle registration documents, 4 computer monitors, 3 computer, processing units, 1 keyboard, and 1 printer.
While giving the scorecard of performance of the unit for the month of February 2023, Ejibunu stated that 18 suspects were arrested in connection with various offenses which are undergoing investigation.
He said “Notable among the wares seized in February 2023 for non-compliance with the extant Customs laws are:
5,328 x 50kg bags of foreign parboiled rice (equivalent to 9 trailer loads)
1 x 40 ft container said to contain 512 cartons of generators (on detention for false declaration)
1 x 40 ft container said to contain 2,298 cartons of half gasoline engines (on detention for false declaration)
29,875 liters of premium motor spirit (PMS)
283 cartons of foreign frozen poultry products
75 kilograms of cannabis sativa
5 units of foreign-used vehicles
1 x 40 ft container said to contain charcoal meant for export
“These goods have a total duty paid value of N501,460,875.
“Sadly however, in our resolve to safeguard the national economy and prevent revenue loss, officers on legitimate duties are ambushed and attacked by suspected smugglers and their sympathizers; using guns, machetes, charms and other dangerous items; the most recent incident of these kind of assaults on officers is the one arrested using charms to attack personnel at Owoyele Igbogila road of Ogun State.
“While I discourage and call for their repentance, any act of recalcitrance would call for the full wrath of the law on any one found culpable.
“In our quest to prevent revenue loss through under-valuation, under-payments, and wrong classification, the sum of One Hundred and Three Million, Six Hundred and Four Thousand, Two Hundred and Ninety-Seven Naira, Thirty-Two Kobo (N103,604,297.32) was collected following the issuance of demand notices to defaulters.
“Let me use this medium to assure the business community that this Unit is ever ready to encourage compliant traders by facilitating their legitimate businesses as enshrined in the extant laws. However, recalcitrant traders are strongly advised to desist from violating the extant regulations or be ready to face the full wrath of the law” Ejibunu stated