By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service, Ikeja Lagos has announced that it has discovered and bursted new smuggling hot spots, even as it made seizure of sundry items including 3,653 X 50kg bags of foreign parboiled rice (equivalent to 6.5 trailer loads)
23,025 litres of PMS, 241 bales of used clothes among others.
A breakdown of other items seized by the unit included; 1,490 kg of Indian Hemp, 1,220 cartons of foreign tomato paste, 983 pieces of used tyres, 104 units of Haojuo motorcycles, 556 cartons of slippers, and 11 units of used vehicles.
While briefing journalists on the latest activities of the unit in Lagos on Tuesday, Customs Area Controller of FOU Zone A, Compt Kehinde Ejibunu stated that, on revenue recovery, the sum of N83,141,803.60 was generated through documentary checks and issuance of demand notices on consignments that were found to have been short-paid.
Speaking, the anti-smuggling czar said “In a continuous and renewed vigour to fight smuggling, we activated an enhanced intelligence gathering and information sharing mechanism, and were able to identify some new smuggling hot spots and schemes employed by smugglers.
“This strategy yielded 60 seizures worth a total duty paid value of N854,156,712. The following major seizures were recorded within January 2024.
“The status of these goods was found to have contravened different sections of the Customs Act (2023), while some were expired at the time of importation; others flaunted the import statutory guidelines. A total of ten suspects were arrested in connection with some of the goods.
“The general public is encouraged to be aware of the consequences of smuggling and its harmful effects; because it is this awareness that would help to reduce the demand for smuggled goods and discourage individuals from participating in smuggling activities.
“Having established the fact that smuggling is a crime which affects the general wellbeing of the nation; it becomes compelling for all patriotic citizens to join the enforcement and regulatory agencies to curb the menace of smuggling” he said