Comptroller Lawal makes impressive performance
*Intercepts 5,200 live ammunition, contraband worth N386m
*Arrests 3 suspects
(Written by Silas Onuoha):
The Customs Area Controller (CAC), Federal Operations Unit, (FOU), Zone ‘C’ Owerri,
Comptroller Yusuf Lawal Psc(+), has made impressive performance within a short period in office.
Comptroller Lawal and his team through intelligence intercepted 5,200 live ammunition and other prohibited items worth over
N386million in Duty Paid Value (DPV).
The Public Relations Officer (PRO), of the Unit, Jerry Attah, disclosed this to Journalists.
Jerry informed news men that Comptroller Lawal, after taking over leadership of FOU Zone ‘C’, has
intensified anti-smuggling operations of the entire Unit.
His words, “The Unit seized 5,200 live ammunitions (cartridges of 30GR 70mm Calibre ) and various contraband with a duty paid value (DPV) of more than N378.7million between November 23rd to December 27th 2020”.
He went on, “Similarly, the Unit through its interventions recovered N7.5million from demand notices on general goods that tried to cut corners from seaports in the guise of false declaration, transfer of value, and shortchange in duty payment that are meant for the coffers of Federal Government of Nigeria, making a cumulative sum of N386.3million, within the month under review, making it a landslide in recent times.”
He continued, “The CAC has addressed the media in Owerri Imo State Capital. He expressed concerns over the trends in arms and ammunition smuggling in recent times, making reference to the interception in Lagos in 2017, in kwara in 2018 and just recently in Kebbi, using different routes and now the interception of 5,200 live ammunition cartridges (30GR 70mm Calibre) on December 13, 2020, concealed with other goods and household items in a passenger vehicle: Toyota Sienna with reg no: DKA 237 DW along Nwezenyi Ikom Road Cross River.”
According to the CAC, “Only God knows what would have happened, if these cartridges got to its destination unchecked, considering the fragile security of the Nation: from Armed Robbery, Kidnapping, banditry to insurgency”.
Comptroller Yusuf stated, “The seized ammunition falls under schedule 4 of the Common External Tariff, which its importation is absolutely prohibited”.
Other seized items include 1,215 bags of foreign parboiled rice 50kg each mostly concealed in bags of beans, maize and groundnut seeds all with the aim of deceiving our officers, 38 Jumbo bales of used clothing, 204 cartons of imported tomatoes and four used exotic vehicles including one new bullet proof Toyota Landcruiser 2019 model (without end-user certificate), two Toyota Hilux 2016 and 2015 respectively, one Mercedes Benz ML350 2015, and other controlled pharmaceutical products at various locations.
Three suspects were arrested in connection to the different seizures.
Comptroller Yusuf Lawal attributed the achievement to the leadership style of the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) and the entire Management Team of the Nigeria Customs Service for their efforts in recognising hard work, dedication and commitment. “Without the Management motivation and necessary logistics support, we would not have attained this feat within this short period”, he stressed.
Similarly, Comptroller Yusuf while commending the commitment, doggedness and diligence of the Officers and Men of the FOU ‘C’ for thwarting the antics of some dare devil smugglers/economic saboteurs who used different methods to deceive the Service, further charged his officers to be professional and diligent in performing their statutory responsibilities in 2021.
He asserted, “We believe we have what it takes to do more in year 2021. Consequently, Let me use this special privilege to call on the general public and you members of the forth estate of the realm to join the Service in advocacy campaign against the danger of smuggling to the Nation’s Economy”.
For the umpteenth time, the CAC warned all economic saboteurs and smugglers who see the new year as a peak period for their nefarious acts to desist from such illegal business, as the Unit has devised other preemptive strategies that will make them run for their monies and count their losses.