FOU Customs Boss talks tough
* Seizes 64 exotic cars, hard drugs, petrol, pangolin, other items worth N17bn
By Silas Onuoha :
The Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A of Nigeria Customs Service is giving smugglers a tough time, even as the Unit intercepted contraband and raised debit notes on imported goods worth over 17billion between January and June 2020.
The items intercepted by the Unit were from smugglers terrorising the South West states of the country, which include used vehicles, pharmaceuticals, textile materials, foreign rice, tomato paste, second hand clothings among other items.
In the same vein, debit notes were raised on imported goods under-declared for lesser Customs duty.
Addressing the media in Lagos over the weekend, the Customs Area Controller, CAC, of the Unit, Ag. Compt. Usman Yahaya said N15.6billion was generated from contrabands seized from smugglers while N 1.4billion was raised from wrong classification,transfer of value and false declaration of cargoes.
He disclosed, “The total duty paid value of N15.6bn was realised on seized contraband while N1.3billion revenue was generated from the Unit interventions arising from wrong classifications, transfer of value and false declarations by importers. So, a total of N17billion was recovered for the federal government in the period under review.”
He revealed, “The Unit also intercepted a truck loaded with textile materials worth N565million imported from Benin Republic to Nigeria.
“Our men also seized 18,760 bags of foreign parboiled rice smuggled into the country from Benin Republic. Aside from foreign rice, 64 units of exotic vehicles were intercepted and detained for duty evasion and under-paymen.”
The FOU Customs Boss went on, “A quick glance at our spectacular seizures report from January 7, 2020, shows 64 exotic vehicles including two (2) bullet proofs, 18,760 bags of 50kg of foreign parboiled rice valued at N469million, 1,338kg of Indian Hemp N201million, and 147 sacks (9,504kg) of Pangolin scales worth N10.4billion.
“Others are 3,059 cartons of tomato paste, 10,653 cartons of frozen poultry products, 5,423 kegs of 25 litres each of vegetable oil, 56,472 bundles of Printed Textiles valued at N565million, 66 packs of Tramadol, 872 bales of second hand clothings worth N61million, 11,077 cartons of frozen products worth N177million.”
That was not all. The Unit also intercepted 5,423 kegs of vegetable oil valued at N87million, 7,549 jerrycans of Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) valued at N27million, five containers load of pharmaceutical valued at N2.9 billion, 64 units of motorcycles used for smuggling valued at N565million, among others.
Yahaya expressed strong displeasure on activities of smugglers, warning them to embrace legitimate business, as the Unit is ready to frustrate them out of illegal business.
He emphasised, “My message to smugglers is that, they should stop smuggling and embrace legitimate business, because the Unit is ready to run them out of business no matter whatever means they use.
“We are always a step ahead of them through intelligence gathering and steadfastness. We won’t get tired until the Service suppresses smuggling totally from the South West”.