The Federal Operations Unit, Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted 58 trucks load of 34,652 bags of foreign parboiled rice smuggled into the country from neighboring countries.
In a statement made available to Nigerian NewsDirect by the unit Public Relation Officer, Jerry Attah, he stated that the unit having strengthened its anti-smuggling operations intercepted various contraband with a duty paid value (DPV) of Eight Billion, Two Hundred and Fourteen Million, Four Hundred and Eighty Six Thousand, Seventy Two Naira, Seventy Five Kobo only (8,214,486,072.75) from January-June 2018.
Demand notices on Vehicles and general goods.
Similarly, the unit through its interventions also recovered Four Hundred and Five Million, Two Hundred and Seventeen Thousand, Nine Hundred and Nine Naira only (N405,217,909.00) from duty payments and demand notices on vehicles and general goods that tried cut corners from seaports, airport and border stations through wrong classification, transfer of value, and shortchange in duty payment that are meant for the coffers of Federal Government of Nigeria, making a cumulative of Eight Billion, Six Hundred and Nineteen Million, Seven Hundred and Three Thousand, Nine Hundred and Eighty Two Naira, only (N8,619,703,982.00)
Suspects And Arrest
Attah disclosed that In the Months under review, 107 suspects were arrested in connection to 596 different seizures comprising 34,652 foreign parboiled rice (equivalent to 58 trailers); 167 units of exotic vehicles (Toyota Prado/Lexus; bullet proof), Toyota C-HR , Toyota Camry LE, Toyota Prado(s), Toyota Hilux, Ford F150, Pajero Jeeps, Mercedes Benz ranging from 2015-2018 models respectively); 8,987 cartons frozen poultry products, 4,586 jerrycans of vegetable oil, 3,463 cartons of different pharmaceutical/medicaments, 370 parcels/98 sacks of Indian hemp weighing 1,350kg, and various general merchandise.
Unit intercepts highest seizure of endangered species.
Remarkably among the seizures within this period, was the interception of 460 sacks of pangolin scales weighing 12, 264 kg and 218 elephant tusks, making it the highest seizure of such endangered species in the history of Federal Operations Unit Zone A.
Commendation for job well done
“This seizure among others brought a lot of accolades to us from the Comptroller-General of Customs Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) and his management team.
“To crown it all was the visit by the Minister of State for Environment; Mallam Ibrahim Usman accompanied by the United Nations charter on CITES delegates led by Mr Juan Carlos who is the Chief Legal Affairs, CITES Headquarters in Geneva, to inspect the seized items and make necessary recommendation to its headquarters.
“The Minister commended the FOU ‘A’ for that great seizure. The UN delegates also promised their support to provide necessary trainings towards combatting such illicit trade on endangered species, so that such harmless animals don’t go into extinction.
The seized pangolin and elephant tusk alone is valued at N2,739,191,400.00, with two Chinese national as suspects”.
Commitment to Government policy on rice importation.
“In order to ensure full implementation of the Government policy banning the importation of rice through land borders, we re-strategized our operational modalities and beam our searchlight at the Creek, Water side, and at various locations in southwest zone and hence the reason for the massive rice seizure within the months under review.
“We will continue to make sure smugglers within our areas of jurisdiction count their losses until they repent from sabotaging our economy” Comptroller Mohammed Uba said.
Comptroller Mohammed reiterated that even though smuggling is a global phenomenon that cannot be eradicated entirely, he urged that all hands must be on deck to reduced smuggling to its barest minimum.
He commended the officers/men who have put their lives on the line making these seizures; most especially the over 58 trailers load of rice knowing fully well it’s a big battle at the creek.
He equally commended their resilience and doggedness that brought about this feat.
He opined that this feat couldn’t have been possible without the logistics support of the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) and the entire management, as well as you the media for your partnership in sensitizing and educating the general public on the evil of smuggling to the nations economy.
Urged sister Agencies to continue their constant support.
Uba thanked othet sister agencies that are always on ground giving the necessary operational support, most especially the Nigeria Army, Police, DSS among others and look forward to sustaining such relationship that will yield better performance in the remaining half of the year.