Agents, importer allege vehicle pilfering at PTML Terminal

  • Vehicles awaiting clearing at a seaport terminal

Allegations of tampering with imported vehicle components at Port and Terminal Multiservice Limited (PTML) have been raised by an importer, David Okanlawon, who said that his were looted inside the terminal.

Okanlawon told newsmen in Lagos that a Toyota Camry, which he imported from the United States (U.S.) and discharged at the terminal, had all components, including battery, air condition compressor, side mirror and extra tyres, among others, looted inside the terminal within 72 days.

Narrating his experience on the issue, Okanlawon said the vehicle was discharged from MV HOEGH XIAMEN on March 28, 2020, adding: “It was the second day the Federal Government began the enforcement of lockdown, so the clearing agent was unable to access the ports.

“After the lockdown was relaxed in Lagos and he went to the port, an invoice of N353,990 was raised, with N269,600 slammed on me as demmurage for the 72 days the vehicle spent in their terminal.”

The car dealer said he was shocked after paying the huge demmurage that his vehicle was still pilfered, adding: “I never knew Nigerian seaport has a terrible security architecture like this, because vital components in the vehicle were pilfered – the battery, compressor, side mirrors and even some components of the engine.

His allegation of looting in the terminal was corroborated by the Public Relations Officer, PTML chapter of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Ayo Sulaiman, who stated that “wharf rats” have returned to PTML and have been damaging importers’ vehicles 

He blamed the terminal management for always denying the development, stating: “The wharf rats that were once defeated at the seaports have returned and we know that a whole container was burgled in Port and Cargo Terminal some time ago.

“I know that pilfering of vehicles happens mostly at the Mile 2 annex of the terminal and the chapter has instances of vehicle remotes missing. They tell us it gets lost on transit, but we are collating lists of burgled vehicles to present to Grimaldi, because this has to stop.”

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