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By IFEOMA Ikem
Federal Operations Unit, Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service in Ikeja, Lagos, have seized 59 assorted vehicles with the Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N1,076,895,727.2 from a hidden house in Ikoyi and car marts in Festac area of Lagos state.
The Area Comptroller, Mohammed Uba Garba, who briefed pressmen in Lagos said that over 40 of the vehicles were 2017 models ranging from Toyota Prado Jeeps, Lexus Jeeps, Toyota Hilux, Toyota Camry, Coaster Bus, Toyota Hiace Bus among others.
He further stated that the vehicles were currently under detention, awaiting relevant Customs documents from the dealers within a grace period of one month.
According to him,”Some are even bullet proof which require End User Certificates from the Office of the Security Adviser (NSA).
He added that investigation would reveal further those behind the clearance of these vehicles and must face the full wrath of the law.
He disclosed that 6,206 bags of foreign parboiled rice of 50kg each which was more than 10 trailers, 67 bales of second hand clothing, 600 cartons of foreign poultry products, 13 parcels of Indian hemp, 405 pieces of used tyres and 54 kegs of foreign vegetable oil were also seized.
Also, two containers were seized for contravening customs law. While one of the containers carried used fridges, 270 cartons of refined sunflower oil, 55 pieces of used gas compressors, 18 packs of juice and other assorted items as against cooking gas declared in the SGD, the other container was carrying 147 bales of printed wax and 168 of lace material as against new electronics declared in the SGD.
“These containers are seized for carrying contraband and entered under false declaration in order to beat the system contrary to the Customs and Excise Law Section 147. Also, a 1×40 container suspected to be carrying prohibited goods is under prohibition.
“It is instinctive to note that a total of six suspects have been arrested relating to these 120 seizures. The Indian hemp will be handed over to NDLEA for further actions”.
The Comptroller stated that the unit through interventions recovered 144,433,524 from duty payments and demand notices on general goods that tried to circumvent the law at seaports, airports and border stations through wrong declaration, transfer of value, underpayment of duty accrued to the federal government of Nigeria within the weeks under review.
According to him between the 4th and 31st October, 2017, the unit was said to have intercepted various contraband with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of One billion, three hundred and fifty-three million, six hundred and seventeen thousand, one hundred and four naira, eight Kobo (N1,353,617,104.08) only.