Clearing agents have petitioned the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) over alleged criminal conspiracy and illegal withholding of 14 vehicles belonging to importers by Clarion shipping terminal.
The clearing agents, under the aegis of 100 per cent Compliance Team chairman, National Association of Government Approved Forwarders (NAGAFF), Tanko Ibrahim, in a petition signed by the group said the vehicles have been trapped at the terminal since July 2021 despite full payment of import duty and other charges to the Customs service and terminal operator. The group also accused Clarion terminal of illegally releasing 19 containers without payment of demand notice to the Nigeria Customs Service amounting to N8.5million.
They, however, expressed worry that the terminal operator could connive with a consignee to defraud the government of such a huge amount of money.Tanko, therefore, appealed to the comptroller general of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) to prevail on the management of Clarion terminal to release all the 14 vehicles as well as commence investigation into the alleged release of the 19 containers.
The petition reads: “we write on behalf of our members whose vehicles were trapped at Clarion Shipping Terminal Limited since July 2021 for no fault of theirs and after duty and other charges have been duly paid.
“Upon our investigation into the matter, it was revealed that some 19 containers were allowed to go without paying demand notice (DN) issued to them as well as not following due process. The containers diversion plot was hatched by Clarion shipping terminal and the consignee, without the knowledge of the agency.”
The “The unpaid assessments were over N8.5million
“It battles our association on how the terminal operator can connive with a consignee to defraud the government of such a huge amount of money.
“Our association has discovered that no terminal delivery orders were issued on the said containers by the agency. The diversion was an arrangement between Clarion and the consignee and that shady business has been going on for a long time.
“It is obvious from this standpoint that Clarion Shipping terminal constitutes an economic risk to the federal government.”