Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) Controller, Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A, Ikeja Lagos, Comptroller Uba Garba Mohammed on Wednesday revealed how his command routed the activities of smugglers in the zone and made massive seizures within the short period of his deployment to the zone.
Business Hilights recalls that Mohammed assumed office on18 May 2017 as Controller, Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘A’Ikeja Lagos after serving in FOU, Zone C, Owerri for seven months.
Giving a graphic detail of the hauls by eagle-eyed detectives in his command, he said “We have intercepted various contraband with a duty paid value (DPV) of N334,042,396.8 only”.
“Similarly, the unit through our interventions recovered N273,675,138.75 from duty payments and demand notices on general goods that tried to beat the system from seaports, airport and border stations in the guise of false declaration, transfer of value, and shortchange in duty payment that are meant for the Federal Government of Nigeria, making a cumulative of N607,717,535.55 between the month of April 1st to June 12th 2017 making it a landslide in recent times.
According to him, “10 suspects were arrested in connection to the seizures and 152 different seizures/detentions were recorded comprising vegetable oil, foreign parboiled rice, frozen poultry products, smuggled vehicles, Indian hemp, used tyres, and various general merchandise, within the period under review”.
“You will agree with me that smuggling is a global phenomenon, which cannot be curbed entirely but can be brought to its barest minimum. Let me use this opportunity to praise the commitment and diligence of the Officers and Men of the FOU A for thwarting the antics of some dare devil smugglers who used different methods for concealment.
“Recently above all was the interception of 384 parcels of Indian hemp concealed inside 6 bales of second hand clothing from Ghana along Iyana-Ipaja Road based on information? In the spirit of inter agency relationship, the suspect and the content will be handed over to the NDLEA for prosecution in a court of competent jurisdiction that will serve as deterrent to others.
Mohammed noted further that based on information and after physical examination, the command have seized five containers that contravened Customs law by means of false declaration and breach of import prohibition list by trade.
While two of the containers carried 4,982 pieces of used tyres, the other containers carried1,292 pieces of general calcium vehicle batteries and piston ring compressor as against Pneumatic transmission valve and cylinder linear declared in their SGDS.
He added that the act of false declaration falls under section 46 (f) of CEMA Cap C45 LFN 2004, which is tantamount to outright seizure, revealing further that “One of the containers was also loaded with unprocessed rough wood ready for export. You will see it all by your selves any moment from now”.
While conducting journalists around the Customs seizure garage and parking lots in Ikeja, he thanked the Management Team of the NCS under the leadership of the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) for his effort in recognizing hard work and diligence to duty.
In his further submission, Mohammed averred that “Without the Management motivation and necessary logistic support, we won’t have achieved the entire feat”.
He further assured sustainable partnership with the Nigerian media within the period of his leadership at the Zone.
On his advice for smugglers, the controller noted that “there is no gain in any unlawful business rather than loses and dangers” and assured that “we will continue to intensify our ant-smuggling operations within our areas of jurisdiction in order to ensure efficiency”.