The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has arrested 11 suspects over N671 million seized smuggled goods along the border and port corridors within the South-west zone in October 2022.
Acting Controller, Federal Operations Unit, Zone A Hussein Ejibunu, disclosed this yesterday, while displaying the seized items to newsmen in Ikeja, said the suspects are at various stages of investigations.
He gave a breakdown of the seizures as: 7,403 bags of 50kg of foreign parboiled rice; 53,759 litres of petroleum motor spirit; 121 cartons of frozen poultry product; 724 bales of used second-hand clothes; three units of used motorcycles; 97 pieces of used tyres and 162 (96kg) parcels of Cannabis sativa.
Others are 11 kegs of 25 litres of vegetable oil; 13 units of used fridges; 3,116 pieces of cutlass; 700 rolls of cigarettes; 23 cartons of dates; nine units of vehicles and two 1×40 containers of charcoal.
Ejibunu said this achievement was possible with the enabling powers of sections 158 (power to patrol freely), sections 160 – 163 (failure to pay duty on demand, untrue declarations, counterfeiting documents, false scales, etc) of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA), Cap C45 Laws 2004 as amended.
Ejibunu also noted that the unit made cumulative revenue recovery of N42.3 million within the period under review, which would have been lost to individuals, if not for the diligent and meticulous documentary checks by officers of the unit.
He said having understood the unrepentant nature of some economic saboteurs’ and their desperation to smuggle and acquire wealth ahead of the festive period, the unit had remained resolute in enforcing compliance with the Federal Government’s fiscal policies and Customs and Excise laws.
“While doing this, the unit has evolved better strategies of being ahead of them; not only to seize their wares, but to get them arrested and prosecuted.
“Let me remind you that smuggling in whatever guise or form, is an illegal activity that constitutes a crime against Customs, extant laws. Primarily among other effects; smuggling compromises national security, robs the nation of her revenue, which consequently affects the provision of basic amenities and social services to the citizens, and it can also destroy your health through the importation of expired, fake, and other illicit drugs.
“We appeal to the trading community to be patriotic by making sincere declarations and paying maximum duties/levies payable to the Federal Government,” he stated.
Ejibunu warned that anyone found culpable of the aforementioned would be prosecuted as prescribed by extant laws.