*Arrests 2 suspects
(By Silas Onuoha)
The Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘C, has made seizures of three trucks conveying 6×20ft containers logs of unprocessed timber.
Displaying the intercepted item on Monday in Harcourt.
The Zonal Coordinator for Zone ‘C’, Ag. ACG Olusemire Kayode informed,
“On July 16,2021 at about 2.00pm, one of the surveillance teams of FOU Zone C acting on credible intelligence trialled and intercepted three trucks conveying 6×20ft containers of logs of rough timber along industrial road, Port-Harcourt.
“We also arrested two suspected smugglers who were attempting to export the unprocessed logs but they have been released on administrative bail”.
Kayode noted that the exportation of unprocessed timber contravenes schedule 6 of the Extant Common External Tariff (CET) and added that deforestation comes with negative effects such as desert encroachment and environmental degradation.
He warned, “when tree falling is not checkmated, the ecosystem and its biodiversity are left to suffer.
He decried the economic loss brought upon Nigeria with the exportation of unprocessed logs, while emphasizing that employment creation, which results from local processing of the logs is vital for Nigeria’s teeming youth.
The Zonal Coordinator Olusemire, commended Comptroller Yusuf LAWAL Psc+ of FOU ZONE C and officers of the Unit for their resilience, doggedness and steadfastness in tackling smuggling and warned economic saboteurs against senseless attacks on Custom operatives carrying out their legitimate duties.
Also speaking, Comptroller Yusuf Lawal psc+ said that the logs were about to be smuggled out of the country without clearance from the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC).
He gave the marks and numbers of the containers to include MSCU-3470637, MSDU-1497355, MEDU-9739916, MEDU-5627573, MSDU-6248794 MEDU-6792783.
In his words Comptroller Yusuf said:
“NEPC is an agency of Government which takes note of products that are meant for exportation, so that the proceeds can be repatriated accordingly.
Unfortunately NEPC is not aware of these logs and has not issued any Nigeria Export Proceeds form, further confirming therefore, that the logs were about to be smuggled out.
He however urged Nigerians to assist the Service with relevant information to aid its activities for the general good of the country.