*Recovers N59.506 Million From Underpayment
By: RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos.
The Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone “A” Ikeja, Lagos, has impounded various contrand with a duty paid value (DPV) of N1,345,572,313 between 16th May to June 2018.
Similarly, the Unit through its interventions recovered a total sum of N59,506,773,25 from underpayments, making a cumulative of N1,405,079,086 within the weeks under review.
Comptroller of the Unit, Mohammed Uba made the disclosure Wednesday while conducting journalists round the goods/ briefing at the Customs warehouse in Ikeja.
He identified the seized items to include 15 exotic vehicles, 9,049 bags of foreign parboiled rice, 1,464 cartons of frozen poultry products, 870 Jerry cans of vegetable oil, 273 bales of used clothing, 592 pieces of used tyres among others.
Uba added that four containers with no: PCIU850134/9, PCIU8278544, FCIU983753 and TGHU6924330 were also impounded for false declaration within the period under review.
While giving a breakdown, the FOU Comptroller said two of the containers were carrying 8,633 pieces of empty cylinders as against plumbing materials declared in their SGD, while the two others contained 120 bales of new jeans as against punching machine declared in the SGD.
Further, Uba stated that the 15 exotic vehicles include 3 Toyota C-HR (2018 models), one Toyota Camry LE (2018 model), one Toyota Prado (2018), one Toyota Hilux (2017), one Ford F150 (2017), one Pajero Jeep (2017) ,one Mercedes Benz (2017) among others.
Explainning further, the Comptroller hinted that the 9,049 bags of the foreign parboiled rice were concealed in 15 trailers, descbing the seizure as spetacular.
The Comptroller also disclosed that 12 suspects were arrested in connection with the seizures and will be prosecuted accordingly.
He attributed the successes recorded by the Unit to the logistics support of the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hammed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd), the entire management team of the Customs and the media for its partnership in sensitizing and educating the general public on the evil of smuggling to the nation’s economy.
Speaking further he said, ” In order to ensure full implementation of the government policy banning the importation of rice through land borders and following headquarters directive in same, we re-strategised our operational modalities and beam out search light at the creek, water side and at various locations in south west zone and hence the reason for the massive rice seizure within the period under review.
Will continue to make sure smugglers within our areas of jurisdiction count their losses until they repent from sabotaging our economy. As you already know, smuggling is a global phenomenon that can not be eradicated entirely but if all hands are on deck it will be reduced to its barest minimum “.
Uba commended the officers of the Unit for putting their lives on the line for the seizures recorded, especially the 15 trailers load of rice.
Pointing out that the exercise recorded a big battle between his men and the smugglers at the creek and bush parts, Uba asserted that it was their resilience and doggedness that won the battle for them,adding that it is highly commendable.