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The Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Ikeja, says it intercepted 143 contraband with a Duty Paid Value of N1.12 billion.

The Area Controller of the command, Mohammed Uba, a Comptroller, told journalists in Lagos on Wednesday that it also recovered N67.4 million, through interventions.

Mr Uba said that the seizures and recoveries were made between June 13 and July 24.

He said that the N67.4 million was recovered from duty payments, demand notices on vehicles and dealers in general goods who tried to cut corners from seaports, airport and border stations, through wrong classification.

He also said that 10 suspects were arrested in connection with 143 different seizures.

The seizures, he said, comprised 9,504, 50kgs of foreign parboiled rice; 21 units of exotic vehicles such as Prado Toyota Land Cruiser and Toyota Hilux bullet proof.

Others, according to him were: Camry, Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Dodge Charger, and Honda Accord from 2014 to 2018 models, respectively.

Other contrabands were: 436 jerry cans of vegetable oil, 498 cartons of different pharmaceuticals/medicaments and Codeine Cough Syrup (CSP) 100ml.

Mr Bello said other seizes also include 812 bales of used clothes, 11 bales of jeans, 560 cartons of new children school bags and 196 used tyres.

Mr Uba said that the assorted vehicles, alone, had duty paid value of N484.4 million which the owners had shortchanged the federal government for failure to pass,through proper process.

“Some of the vehicles are intercepted on Ijebu-Ode expressway, 10 of the 21 vehicles are also evacuated from Oluwalogbon Motors on Awolowo way, Ikeja, based on credible information,” Mr Uba said.

He, however, urged owners of the seized vehicles to come and claim them with valid Customs Clearance Documents (CCD).

”Otherwise, they will be liable to seizure and subsequent forfeiture to the Federal Government in line with the law of the land.

Section 147 of Customs Excise Management Act (CEMA), Cap 45, law of the Federation 2004 empowers NCS to search premises and also Section 158 of CEMA Cap 45 empowers NCS to patrol freely.

He said that the 496 cartons of Codeine syrup was also intercepted on Ijebu Ode- Ore Road with the products value at N199.2 million.

According to him, the products will be handed over to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Controlb (NAFDAC) for further investigation.

The area controller, however, said that following the presidential directive, the consumables and clothing such as rice, vegetable oil, clothing, shoes and school bags would be sent to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps.

“We will continue to make sure smugglers within our areas of jurisdiction count their losses, until they repent from sabotaging our economy.

Mr Uba reiterated that though smuggling was a global phenomenon that could not be eradicated entirely, however, all hands must be on deck to reduce to it the barest minimum.

He commended the officers of the command who put their lives on the line ensuring the seizures, their resilience and doggedness that brought about the feat.

Mr Uba also commended Comptroller-General of the NCS and his management team for providing necessary logistics to boost the efficiency and effectiveness of the command.

He, however, decried the incessant attacks on the officers of the command, adding that the CGC had directed them to resort to self defence, in line of duty, at all times.

(NAN)

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