By Tosin Oke
The Nigerian Custom Services (NCS), federal operations unit Zone A, has intercepted a truck that belong to Nigerian Breweries Plc loaded with India hemp, foreign rice, among other contraband goods.
The Customs Area Comptroller of the unit, Capt. Mohammed Uba, speaking at a press briefing on Wednesday gave some of the resounding successes in anti-smuggling operations by NCS, Federal Operations Unit Zone A.
The truck detained by the customers contain contraband goods and the company’s products that include Star beers.
In a statement, he said, ‘’smuggling contraband goods destroy our economy bring unemployment, bring diseases and other calamities to Nigerian society.
“The smugglers use various means to conceal goods. An instance is the case of using Nigerian Breweries crates of drinks to conceal foreign parboiled rice. Another was where spare parts were used to conceal used tyres. And many others.’’
“Having deepened our anti-smuggling operations within April 10th to May 15th 2018, we have intercepted various contrabands and other goods on detention with a duty paid value (DPV) of N1 billion
“In same vein, the unit through its strategic interventions recovered N28 million from underpayments making a cumulative of N1 billion within the weeks under review.
Among goods detained and seized include 5,516 bags of foreign 50kg parboiled rice (nine trailers), 1,078 cartons of frozen poultry products, 683 pieces of used tyres, 173 bales of used clothing, 8 sacks of Indian Hemp weighing 134kg and 30 exotic vehicles including 7 Toyota Hilux (2018 models), 3 Toyota Prado Jeep (2017), 1 Range Rover, 1 Ford Edge (2015).
Also, two containers with no. MSKU130295/2 and MRKU877714/0 were also seized for false declaration with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of over N25 million. While a total of 14 suspects were arrested in connection to the 125 seizures.
He explained further that, “you can see how far the smugglers can go on in trying to go on with their nefarious activities. However, whatever means they may employ, we only try to be ahead of them. They never believed that we could track them. With these, it is very important that we bring this to your notice and if there is any information that has to do with smuggling activities, you can bring it to our notice, we would do our best to make sure that smuggling activities in any form are brought to the barest minimum.’’
He commend the officers and men of the Unit for living up to their statutory responsibilities in suppressing the act of smuggling, blocking all revenue leakages and enhancing trade facilitation towards sustaining best international standards.
‘’We have remained unflinching with our mandates and no amount of distraction will deter us from performing our statutory duties. We will continue to make this zone uncomfortable for smugglers to operate and urge every Nigerian to be more patriotic and report any smuggling activities in their areas to the service and any intelligence provided will be treated in confidence,’’ he stated.
Uba, however, advised the economic saboteurs and fraudulent importers to invest their resources towards legitimate trade and desist from engaging in smuggling activities, as the service and the Unit will not renege on their statutory functions most especially in suppressing smuggling.