Chinedu EzeIfedigbo February 7, 2018

Again, Customs intercepts 31 assorted vehicles FEBRUARY 6, 2018 ….arrests 10 suspects A total of 31 assorted vehicles have been seized and 10 suspects arrested by the Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit Zone A. The cars which included Rolls Royce, Porche, Panamera, Jaguar, Bentley, Lexus Jeep, G-Wagon, Toyota Land Cruiser, Toyota Corolla, Mercedes Benz among others were mostly 2017 models. Some of the vehicles were reportedly intercepted along Ijebu Ode Expressway, while others were evacuated at various raid in Parkview Estate, Victoria Island, Banana lsland, Alhaji Bankole Crescent Ikeja and Tola Adewunmi Street Maryland. Speaking during a press briefing held at the Zone A headquarters in Ikeja on Tuesday, the Controller highlighted the successes of the Zone from January 1st to January 31st 2018, saying the zone had made 163 different seizures within the period under review. Comptroller Mohammed Uba stated that the seizures were made following the intensified operational modalities of the zone to meet up with the current smuggling tactics. He said, “We have intercepted various contraband with a Duty Paid Value(DPV) of over N1.618 billion from January 1st -January 31st 2018. “The seized items include 31 assorted vehicles, 8,400 bags of foreign parboiled rice (that is about 14 trailers), 1652 cartons of frozen poultry products, 835 jerrycans of vegetable oil, 10 sacks bag of Indian Hemp, 2,208 pieces of used tyres, 159 bales of used clothing among others. “Just as I told you last year, it is our obligation to support the federal government policy on rice, encourage local rice farmers, the millers and patronize our own nutritional rice which by implication will create employment opportunities for our youths.” While giving a breakdown of some of the seized vehicles, Uba said, “Among the detained vehicles include 4 Rolls Royce, 1 Porche Panamera, 1 Jaguar, 1 Bentley, 2 Lexus Jeep, 2 G-Wagon, 1 Toyota Land Cruiser, 5 Toyota Corolla, 7 Mercedes Benz and others. These 31 assorted vehicles alone have a DPV of over N1.429 Billion.” He therefore urged the owners of these vehicles to come forward with valid customs clearance documents to claim their vehicles. He maintained that failure to do the needful makes the vehicles liable to seizure and subsequent forfeiture to the federal government. An action he said is in- line with the provisions of sections 147 of customs and Exercise management Act(CEMA) Cap 45, laws of the federation of Nigeria 2004 (Power to search premises) and Section 158 of CEMA, Cap 45 laws of federation of Nigeria (power to patrol freely) Speaking on other seizures, Uba said two containers were also seized for false declaration. According to him, “While 1 by 20ft container no. GATU132358/4 was seized for carrying 537 cartons of Indian whisky as against yeast declared in SGD, another 1 by 40 ft container no. TCLU172184/3 was seized carrying 60 pieces of used chest freezers and 570 bundles of gas hose as against condenser for steam polysomic. This is clear case of false declaration which is tantamount to seizure.” In his warning to smugglers and their accomplices, Uba said the zone will employ every lawfully measure to deal with the ugly trend. In his words, ” Let me seize this opportunity to warn all would be smugglers to desist from any act of illegal trade and to invest their money in a legitimate business that will yield dividend on their investments. There is no amount of resistance from the smugglers and their mob accomplices that will deter us from performing our statutory responsibilities in all aspect especially in suppression of smuggling within southwest zone.”

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