[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘A’ Ikeja, Lagos, has intercepted contraband with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N200.99 million between June and July.
The Controller of the unit, Mohammed Garba, who made the disclosure at a news conference on Wednesday in Lagos, said the seizures include smuggled vehicles, used tyres and general merchandise.
According to Garba, the unit through its interventions, recovered N28.95 million duty payments and Demand Notices on general goods that tried to outsmart customs officers at seaports, airport and border stations.
He said the amount (N28.95m) was recovered after wrong classification, transfer of value and short-change in duty payment.
“This makes it another spectacular breakthrough in anti-smuggling operations under my watch,”Garba stated.“Fifteen suspects have been arrested in connection with the seizures. Seizures recorded during the period include smuggled vehicles, used tyres and general merchandise.
“You will agree with me that the fight against smuggling can only be won if all hands are on deck.
Garba recalled that recently, the unit intercepted 1,442 cartoons of drugs (Tramadol 225/120mg) in a container and a MAN Diesel truck with Registration No RRU 513 XA along Apapa-Oshodi Expressway.
“Only God knows what could have happened if these drugs get to the wrong hands,” he lamented. “In the spirit of inter-agency relationship, the drugs will be handed over to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) today for further investigation.
“Following series of infraction on some of the containers intercepted based on information, we have seized seven containers that contravened customs law by means of false declaration and breach of import prohibition list,” the controller said.
According to Garba, the act of false declaration falls under Customs & Excise Management Act (CEMA) 2004, which was tantamount to outright seizure.
“Just yesterday (Tuesday), we intercepted a DAF Truck with Registration No. DAL 543 ZX, carrying 1,200 cartoons of smuggled poultry products along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
The controller also thanked the management of the NCS for providing incentives and logistics that brought about the feat.
Garba urged the media and the general public to provide necessary intelligence which could assist the service in bringing smuggling to its barest minimum. (NAN)