The Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘A’, announced on Monday that it made a number of seizures amounting to over N783m between August 9 and 25, 2017.
The Controller of the zone, Mohammed Garba, disclosed this while conducting journalists round the command’s warehouses where the seized items were kept.
According to him, some of the items seized include 27 different brands of vehicles, ranging from 2007 to 2013 models, all valued at N228.2m.
In addition to frozen poultry, he listed other confiscated items such foreign parboiled rice, Indian hemp, pharmaceutical drugs, used tyres and general merchandise.
Garba said that the unit also impounded three containers with items worth N303.2m, due to what he called false declaration.
He added that the unit recovered N252.1m from duty payments and demand notices on general goods from importers who allegedly tried to outsmart officers at seaports, airports and border stations through wrong classification, transfer of value and short-change in duty payments meant for the Federal Government.
“These seizures made it a cumulative amount of N783.6m within the three weeks under review,” he stated.
Garba added that 15 persons had been arrested in connection with the seizures while the pharmaceutical drugs and Indian hemp had been handed over to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, respectively.
The command had on August 11 alone impounded 37 assorted cars smuggled into Nigeria through the bush.
The NCS FOU’s spokesman, Jerry Attah, said the seizures were not related.
Against the backdrop of the approaching ‘ember’ months, Garba reminded Nigerians that the government’s policy concerning importation of rice and vehicles through the land borders remained unchanged.
He said, “For the avoidance of doubt, the Federal Government’s policies banning the importation of rice and vehicles through the land borders are still in force.
“As we enter the ember months this weekend when economic activities strive to boom, let me use this opportunity to send this warning message to smugglers within the South-West zone to desist from such illegal trade as we are well equipped to cripple smugglers and send them out of their illegitimate business.”