By Richards Adeniyi
The Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone A, Ikeja of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted 2,149 pieces of used tyres extracted from two containers in a Dangote truck with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N11, 604,600.
The anti-smuggling unit of the service also seized about 39 other commodities at different locations even as it said it had recovered N28, 954,448.75 from duty payments and demand notices on general goods for infractions.
The Customs Area Controller of the unit, Comptroller Mohammed Uba Garba, gave the details during a press briefing organised by the command in Lagos on Wednesday. He said the total DPV of the seized items amounted to over N200 million within one month.
The Controller said 15 suspects were arrested in connection with the seizures but that some have been released on administrative bail while others are still being held for further investigations.
“In fulfilment of my promise during the last press briefing held on 14th June, 2017 when I did say that at least every month we will showcase some of our achievements in the fight against smuggling, I am happy to tell you that after series of meetings with my field officers, we are reviewing our operational strategies to meet up with the current trend of smuggling.
“We have intercepted various contraband with a duty paid value of N200,995,631.8 only from 13th June to 10th July, 2017”, he said.
Some of the items, according the controller, include 1,442 cartons of pharmaceutical medicament, 108 cartons of wine, 41 cartons of tomatoes, 37 cartons of juice not declared, 449 cartons of Eva soap and other items.
One used Ford Focus, 68 used refrigerators, 2,252 units of double burner stoves, 2,810 cartons of spaghetti, 1,200 cartons of frozen poultry products were also listed.
Others include 400 bales of used clothes as well as 1,096 bags of parboiled rice of 50kg each intercepted in three trucks.
While conducting journalists round the warehouse where the seized commodities are kept, the Controller stated that some of the intercepted items were due to under declaration, false declaration and concealment.
While calling on the general public to help in the fight against smuggling, he said “you will agree with me that the fight against smuggling can only be won if all hands are on deck.”
He however handed over the seized pharmaceutical medicaments to officials of the National Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for further investigation.
While taking the delivery of the consigenment, the director, Investigation and Enforcement of NAFDAC, Kingsley Ejiofor, said that the products were not registered with the right authority.
He added that the products which came from India were concealed by making UN inscription on them to beat security checks even as he decried that such drugs could lead to death of Nigerians, describing the importers as worse than armed robbers.