The Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit, Zone “C” Owerri, Imo state, has revealed that the unit confiscated contraband goods and smuggled exotic motor vehicles worth total of N359, 985, 201 Duty Paid Value. Briefing newsmen at the NCS, FOU, Zone “C” Benin Office, yesterday, the Customs Area Comptroller, Kayode Olusemire, stressed that the DPVs on all the cars were N317, 680,101, while on contraband goods, N42, 305,100. The comptroller also explained that the agency would not rest on its oars until smuggling of contraband consignments and non-payments of DPV on goods including cars are stopped. He said that the FOU zone “C” would continue to strategise, to bring their agents and collaboration to their knees.
“I vehemently regret that the Federal Government has continued to lose huge revenue as a result of the unpatriotic activities of smugglers, who are poised to acquire wealth through the short cut. I hereby warn such individuals to desist from such illicit activities forthwith, in their own interest, or face the wrath of the Law and regret their respective lives”.
Olusemire however, wondered why Nigerians would buy exotic cars to the tune of over N150m, but would not pay the accruing duty.
“I also advise Nigerians not to use the economic down turn as an excuse to ruin themselves and their families as the NCS would not entertain any sacred cow in the determination to make smuggling and non DPV payment on goods, a thing of the past in the country”.
He also explained that all the cars were intercepted along Benin patrol axis by the eagle eye operatives of the Unit.
Breaking down the seizures, Olusemire listed: 2014 model of Rav 4 jeep with DPV of N9, 428,505, 2016 Mercedes Benz (GLE 450) with DPV of N26, 052,259, 2014 model of Amoured Mercedes G Wagon (bullet proof) with DPV of N68, 554,565, and 2016 model of Ford (Edge) with DPV of N16, 835,891.
The list includes: 2017 model of Toyota Hilux with DPV of 15,415,996, 2008 model of Lexus ES 350 with DPV of N4, 510,391, 2014 model of Toyota LandCruiser (bullet proof) with DPV of N40, 105,545 and 2014 Range Rover (Autobiography) with DPV of N76, 433, 500 among numerous others.
He also divulged that over four trucks were intercepted with over 741 bags of rice, adding that the DPV on the smuggled goods including their means of conveyance amounted to N28, 499,600.
The Comptroller however, stated that NCS would ever remain steadfast and sincere in its resolution to ensure that no prohibited item got across the nation’s borders. “The Customs Service is now more than ever fortified, mobilised and motivated to meet with its challenges”.
He appealed to members of the public with classified information on smugglers, their collaborators and agents to always make them available to the officers and men of the unit.
“The NCS is not interested in witch-hunting or victimising anybody, group or association, who is into legitimate business of importing and exporting, but will not entertain any sacred cow involved in any foul play in the importation of illicit consignments.”