Customs FOU Zone A Intercepts contrabands, generates N17bn in six months

By Foster Obi

Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service over the weekend intercepted contrabands, even as it raised debit notes on importers worth 17billion between January to June 2020.

The Command noted that while contrabands intercepted by the unit were from smugglers terrorising the South Western states of the country which include used vehicles, pharmaceuticals, textiles, foreign parboiled rice, tomato paste, second hand clothing among others, the debit notes were raised on importers who under declared their cargoes for lesser Customs duty.

Customs Area Controller of the unit, Ag. Compt. Usman Yahaya said N15.6billion was generated from contrabands seized from smugglers while N 1.4billion were raised from wrong classification, transfer of value and false declaration of cargoes.

According to him,  “the total duty paid value of N15.6bn were premised on seized contrabands while the N1.3billion were revenue from the unit interventions arising from wrong classifications, transfer of value and false declarations by importers. So, a total of N17billion was recovered for the federal government in the period under review.”

He noted the unit also intercepted a truck load of banned textile materials worth N565million naira imported from Benin Republic

He also disclosed that 18,760 bags of  foreign parboiled rice smuggled  into the country from Benin Republic and 64 units of exotic vehicles were intercepted and detained for duty evasion and under payment were intercepted.

“A quick glance of our spectacular seizure reports from 7th January, 2020, shows 64 exotic vehicles including two (2) bullet proofs, 18,760 bags of 50kg of foreign parboiled rice valued at N469million, 1,338kg of Indian Hemp N201million, and 147 sacks (9,504kg) of Pangolin scales worth N10.4billion.

“Others are 3,059 cartons of tomato paste, 10,653 cartons of frozen poultry products, 5,423 kegs of 25 litres each of vegetable oil, 56,472 bundles of Printed Textiles valued at N565million, 66 packs of Tramadol, 872 bales of Second hand clothing worth N61million, 11,077 cartons of frozen products worth N177million,” the CAC added.

Also intercepted are 5,423 kegs of vegetable oil valued at N87million, 7,549 jerry cans of Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) valued at N27million, 5 containers load of pharmaceutical valued at N2.9 billion, 64 units of motorcycles used for smuggling valued at N565million among others.

A visibly angry Yahaya however warned smugglers to embrace legitimate business as the unit is ready to send them out of illegitimate business.

He also disclosed that the seizure was borne out of intelligence and hard work of eagle eye officers of the unit.

“My message to smugglers is that they should stop smuggling and embrace legitimate business because the unit is ready to run them out of business.

“We are always a step ahead of them through intelligence gathering and steadfastness. We won’t get tired until the service suppressed smuggling finally from the South West,” he warned

Pix: The seized goods on display