Customs FOU ‘A’ Intercepts 21 Trailer Loads of Rice, 40 Vehicles, Others Worth N2.8billion in 3-Months


Compt Ejibunu displays some of the intercepted used vehicles to journalists

…29 Suspects Arrested

The Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service Ikeja Lagos has said that it arrested a total of 206 seizures in the first quarter of year 2024 with inclusion of 21 trailer loads of foreign parboiled rice, 40 units of used vehicles and other sundry items with duty paid value of N2,877,049,777 while 29 suspects were arrested.

Briefing journalists in Lagos on Friday, the Comptroller of the Unit, Compt Kehinde Ejibunu gave a breakdown of the units anti-smuggling prowess for the quarter, saying that apart from the rice and vehicle seizures, 286 cartons of rubber slippers,
1,220 cartons of foreign tomato paste, 2,705 kegs of premium motor spirit, 3,510 pieces of pneumatic used tyres
330 bales of used clothes
2,230 kg of Indian Hemp
1,569 cartons of foreign frozen poultry products were seized

Other seizures according to him includes; 365 cartons of unmarked drugs, 104 units of Haojuo Motorcycle and 566 cartons of slippers.

Compt Ejibunu stated that the revenue recovery made within the period under review was N305,310,010.44. This represents 67% collection of the N455,202,073.97 revenue target for the year 2024.

He said that the seizures recorded in the 1st quarter of 2024 were due to violations of various sections of the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023, the federal government import and export prohibition guidelines.

“Just recently, officers of this Unit were carrying out their legitimate duties when they were being shot by some armed men suspected to be smugglers along Igbori Village, in Oyo State. Although some of the officers in the patrol team sustained injuries, but the assailants were repelled with superior fire power.

“Armed none state actors should beware of the legal consequences of their actions when caught. We shall never be distracted or deterred by their antics; the rules of engagement would be fully invoked in compliance with the Service’s Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to counter any attack on officers” Ejibunu warned

Continuing, he said “Citizens should avoid smuggling because it is a criminal offence against the state; participating in it has legal consequences such as hefty fines, imprisonment, or other legal sanctions. For example, Section 228 (false statements/declaration), section 231(counterfeiting any seal, signature, initials or any mark used by any officer), section 229 (an intentional entry of goods for less duty payment) etc. Therefore, citizens must avoid smuggling because it does not only pose legal and safety risks, but also undermines the well-being of society as a whole.

“Smuggling impacts society negatively by short-changing the economy through tax evasion, affects public health and safety, distorts the balance of fair business competitiveness, and also serves as an instrument for the achievement of other criminal activities.

“Smuggling can lead to compromised personal safety because it exposes individuals to various risks that include; dealing with dangerous individuals, illegal substances, and working in unsafe conditions.

“By complying with all relevant regulations and laws, importers and traders can steer clear of costly fines and penalties that may arise as a consequence of non-compliance. It enhances a good reputation, demonstrates reliability, and trustworthiness, ensures smooth Customs and other statutory regulatory clearance procedures. This in turn reduces delays and potential disruptions in the supply chain.

“Interestingly, compliant importers are eligible to access the Service’s preferential treatment through preferential trade programs such as the fast track, the advance ruling, and the Authorize Economic Operators (AEO) programme. It is a programme that allows all compliant economic operators involved in the international movement of goods to apply for AEO status. While the focus is maintained on high-risk operators and the facilitation of legitimate trade”

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