By Dapo Olawuni
The Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service has said that In April 2023 alone, it made seizures worth a total duty paid value (DPV) of N746,157,425, while ten suspects were arrested during the period under review.
While briefing journalists in Ikeja Lagos on Thursday, the Acting Controller of the unit, Deputy Comptroller Hussein Kehinde Ejibunu, a breakdown of the seizures include; 8,309 X 50kg bags of foreign parboiled rice, equivalent to 14 trailer loads.
2,428 X 25 liters of premium motor spirit (PMS), 221 cartons of foreign frozen poultry.
Others are; 486 parcels (262kg) of Indian hemp, 4 units of foreign used vehicles, 111 pieces of used tyres, 10 bales of used clothing and
8 sacks of used shoes.
According to him, the unit in it’s continuous quest to prevent revenue loss through various infractions such as; under-valuation, under-payments, and wrong classification, the sum of N66,726,153.35 was collected following the issuance of demand notices to defaulters.
According to Ejibunu, the unit, through the Federal High Court, had secured 8 convictions during the last ten 10 months, while 48 different cases are at various stages of prosecution.
Speaking, he said “While the smugglers planned to take us unaware during the religious festivities, our round-the-clock patrols were sustained and backed with intelligence even during the public holidays. Interestingly, the outcome of our unrelenting onslaught against smuggling is the remarkable drop evident in the number of seizures recorded with zero casualties.
“We want to reiterate that it pays for importers, exporters, haulage operators, and their agents to operate within the ambit of the law because doing otherwise places them at risk of losing their investments and facing prosecution as enshrined in the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA).
“Successes recorded by this Unit in the suppression of desperate measures for economic criminality would not have been possible without the deployment of logistics support provided by the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali, (Rtd) CFR, and his management team in the battle to protect our national economic interest” he said