By Anthony Nwachukwu
Smuggled goods with an approximate Duty Paid Value of (DPV) of N872.6 million, including 13 foreign-used vehicles and 5,459 x 50kg bags of foreign parboiled rice, were intercepted in November by the Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
The Ag. Controller of the unit, Compt. Hussein Kehinde Ejibunu, who disclosed this in Lagos Tuesday, stated that the unit also generated the sum of N71,254,984.71 through demand notices on underpaid consignments, while 11 suspects were also arrested in connection with the seizures.
The other seizures included 18,100 litres of premium motor spirit, 376 bales of used clothes, 1,926 cartons of frozen poultry products, 337 pieces of used compressors, 3 X 40ft containers bearing 3,838 pieces of used tyres, 13 foreign-used vehicles and 396 cartons of frozen fish.
“These seizures reflect our commitment to the discharge of our functions aimed at protecting the nation’s economy and preventing the importation of prohibited and harmful products from entering our domestic markets,” a statement by the Public Relations Officer, Mr. Theophilus Duniya, quoted Ejibunu to say during the media display of the seizures.
According to him, smugglers deploy a lot of ingenuity in concealing contrabands, and this enables them “to hide illicit goods from detection by concerned authorities.
“It is important to note that smuggling is illegal and a crime that has negative social, economic and security implications. It is our resolve to continuously work hard to improve detection methods with the aid of intelligence.
“The strategic deployment of officers with intelligence-driven anti-smuggling operations led to the arrest of a Toyota Highlander with an ingenious concealment of suspected bags of foreign parboiled rice at Iju-Ojuore, Ogun State.”
Noting that smuggling operations that employ ingenious concealment could successfully traffic illegal goods across the borders or checkpoints, Ejibunu called for collaboration by all citizens through timely information against smuggling.