Yuletide: Smugglers Lose N1.6bn To FG As Customs Impounds 64 Vehicles, Smuggled Rice

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By YUSUF BABALOLA, Lagos

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit, Zone A, Ikeja yesterday said it intercepted 22 truckloads of foreign parboiled rice with 64 units of vehicles smuggled into the country from neighbouring countries.

This was disclosed by the Customs Area Controller (CAC), Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A, Compt. Muhammed Uba Garba. The rice according to the CAC has a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N164million while the vehicles have a value of N1.3billion.

He said, “After intensifying our operational modalities to meet up with the current smuggling tactics most especially as the Yuletide draws closer, we have intercepted various contraband with a (DPV) of over N1.6billion.

“The seized items include 64assorted vehicles (mostly brand new), 13,333 bags of foreign parboiled rice (that’s like 22 trailers), 1,390 cartons of frozen poultry products, 835 jerry cans of vegetable oil, 15 parcels of Indian hemp, 1,101 pieces of used tyres, 205 bales of used clothing among others.”

The CAC stated that the service would enforce federal government policy on importation of vehicles and rice through the land borders to encourage local production. “We need to support the federal government policy on rice, encourage local rice farmers, the millers and patronise our nutritional rice.”

Speaking on the vehicles intercepted, the CAC said about 57 vehicles allegedly smuggled into the country are evacuated from an estate in Lagos. “Among the detained vehicles included three Lexus jeeps (bullet proof), one Toyota Land cruiser (bullet proof), Nine Toyota Hilux, eight Toyota Hiace Bus, 26 Toyota Corolla, Nine Land Crusher Jeep, Five Toyota Camry, One Land Rover, One Nissan Sentara, One Paper jeep all 2017 model and One Sienna 2015 model and One Lexus RX 350. These 64 assorted vehicles alone have a DPV of N1.3billion.”

“While 57 vehicles were evacuated based on Intels along Omole estate, Ojodu and Olayiwole close Lekki Phase One, the remaining seven were intercepted while on information patrol along Ijebu-Ode express-way and Olorunda.”

The Customs boss however challenged anyone with useful proof of payment of Customs duty to come forward to claim the seized vehicles. “As I speak with you, nobody has come forward to claim ownership yet because we doubt if they have any Customs papers on the vehicles, not to talk of the End-user Certificate for the bullet proof.”