The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has continued to win its war against smugglers. Recently, the Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘A’ intercepted smuggled goods with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N122.5 million. Uche Ejesieme, the Public Relations Officer of the unit, said men of the service was able to effect 205 different seizures of assorted and prohibited items including foreign parboiled rice, poultry products, vehicles, new and used textile materials, soaps, among others.
“Some of the seized items include 53 different seizures in different locations and those different seizures translated into 3,003 bags of 50kg parboiled rice, with a Duty Paid Value of N19, 501,306. “For smuggled frozen poultry products, we had 45 different seizures from different locations translating into 6,713 cartoons of the product with a Duty Paid Value of N36, 250,000.20. We also had seizures of vehicles coming from unapproved routes and some of them trying to evade payment of appropriate taxes and levies and in that regard, we intercepted 46 of such vehicles, he said.
He added that 33 of them were fairly used cars popularly known as Tokumbo while 65 of were scraps and the DPV total is N36, 220,500. Ejesieme said the command also seized, footwear, vegetable oil, mosquito insecticides, spaghetti products, wine and used tyres.
Quoting the controller in charge of the command, Turaki Adamu, he said: “We have waged a relentless war on smugglers and our focus remains identifying illegal entry points and the essence of that is to ensure that we dismantle them and by extension cut their supply chains. “This is what we have been doing over time. We are not resting on our oars and the assurance is that we are beginning to have collaboration and support from members of the public. Recently, we revived our concept of Customs-Community Relationship. It is a platform whereby we engage stakeholders, trying to sensitise and educate them on the dangers of smuggling, particularly those of them living around the border areas, so that they will be well acquainted with the effect of smuggling to the nation’s economy and also to their lives,” he said.
By Pita Ochai