The Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), said, it seized 46,000 bags of foreign parboiled rice equivalent to 77 trucks smuggled into the country from neighbouring Benin Republic between January to June, 2022.
Speaking during a press briefing showcasing half year report of the unit, the acting Customs Area Controller (CAC), Ag Compt. Hussein Ejibunu, said 266,000 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol, were intercepted across the South Western states in the months under review.
According to him, the unit also intercepted 233 cartons of banned drug, also known as, tramadol; 65 units of used vehicles; 15,000 pie es of used tyres and 3,659kg of Indian hemp valued at N7.12bn.
He said: “goods seized within the first six months of the year are worth a cumulative duty paid value of N7.12billion. These seizures were made for contravention of different Customs offences. A total of 103 suspects were arrested in connection with some of the seized goods.
“Among the numerous seized items are: 45,928 bags of foreign parboiled rice of 50kg each, equivalent to 77 trailer loads; 265,830 litres of PMS; 2,933 bales of used clothes; 233 cartons of Tramadol (225mg each) and 83 packs of 225mg; 65 units of used vehicles;14,784 pieces of used tyres; 119 units of used motorcycles and 3,659.05 kg of Indian hemp.”
Ejibunu, however, warned that, the land borders, especially Idiroko and Seme, were re-opened for legitimate trade and not for smuggling.
He further disclosed that N578million was recovered from underpayment of Customs duty and taxes by importers who brought in cargoes through the seaports.
“Let me remind the business community that although some of the land borders were reopened, it is worthy of note to be reminded and to know that, they were reopened for legitimate businesses. Importers, agents and the general public are enjoined to acquaint themselves with federal government fiscal policies, Customs extant regulations, as well as, the import and export prohibition lists for proper guidance.
“Also, the sum of N578million was collected as revenue derived from underpayments. We shall continue to facilitate legitimate and compliant traders to grow our local economy, while we sustain deliberate efforts aimed at frustrating recalcitrant traders; as seen in the volume of seizures displayed,” he stressed.
“On the whole, the entire success of the Unit is premised on the improved logistics supplied by the management of the Service Headquarters, inter-agency collaboration with sister security agencies, esteemed stakeholders, as well as patriotic citizens for providing useful and timely information,” he pointed out.