By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service has intercepted 15 bulletproof jackets, 15 pieces of jack knives and 20 pieces of pistol pouches inside a Toyota Sienna Bus in Ogun State at Ijebu-ode.
Briefing Journalists at the unit’s office in Ikeja Lagos on Wednesday, the Acting Controller, Kehinde Hussein Ejibunu expressed gratitude to the Acting Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, saying that his maiden working visit to the Unit was a morale booster for officers.
According to him, 50 seizures were made within the period under review for non-compliance with the extant Customs laws.
Notable among the seizures made are:
I. 5,642 X 50kg bags of foreign parboiled rice (equivalent to 9 trailer loads)
II. 18,925 litres (757 X 25 litres jerry cans of premium motor spirit)
III. 20 pieces of pistol pouches
IV. 15 pieces of bulletproof jackets
V. 15 pieces of jack knives
VI. 49 cartons of children school shoes
VII. 181(87 kg) parcels of Indian Hemp
VIII. 357 kegs X 5 litres of vegetable oil
IX. 1 unit of Honda Motorcycle
X. 2 used (Tokumbo) vehicles
The Acting Controller disclosed that the total duty paid value (DPV) of the seized goods stood at N462,708,875.
The sum of N66,493,346.41 was recovered as revenue into the federation account through the issuance of demand notices (DN) on Customs duties that were discovered to be underpaid.
Also, 13 suspects were arrested in connection with some of the seizures, and are at different stages of investigations and prosecution.
The Customs boss used the opportunity to hand over three suspects and cannabis sativa with a net weight of 7,728 kilogrammes to officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Lagos State Command; for further investigation and prosecution.
Speaking he said “Within July 2023 the sedulousness of our officers led to the interception of smuggled 15 bulletproof jackets, 15 pieces of jack knives and 20 pieces of pistol pouches inside a Toyota Sienna Bus in Ogun State at Ijebu-Ode Checkpoint. The driver of the vehicle was arrested in conjunction with the seized controlled wares.
“It is pertinent to know that the importation of all forms of bulletproof materials such as vests, ballistic materials and vehicles, as well as parts and accessories for all military armaments and hardware such as guns, arms and ammunition of all kinds; lethal and non-lethal requires an end-user certificate.
“An end-user certificate is applied to, and issued by the office of the national security adviser which loses its validity after one year from the issuance date. Hence, anyone importing a controlled item must do so within the validity period of the end-user certificate.
“Seizures recorded within the period under review are a reflection of officers’ commitment to duty, and no compromise posture in the discharge of our statutory responsibilities; aimed at protecting the national economy and preventing the importation of prohibited, and harmful goods.
“This success story will not be complete without my expression of gratitude to the Ag. Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR whose maiden working visit to the Unit was a morale booster. I also use this medium to thank him and members of the management team for stoking our logistics for more gainful performance” he said