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Apapa Customs detains 4 containers for false declaration

Barely one week after Apapa Customs Command warned importers against under or false declaration of imported items, the Command has confiscated 4 containers of 2× 40ft and 2×20ft containing imported cigarettes from China.

The cigarettes which has neither manufacturing nor expired dates is called PANDA; from China.

According to the agent he claimed to be the first shipment of such product to Nigeria. It was also discovered that neither the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) nor National Directorate of Foods,Drugs and Administration Control (NAFDAC) was aware of this import.

Addressing journalists, the Customs Area Controller of the command; Comptroller Willy Egbudin narrated how the importer and his agent manipulated the Bill of Lading to beat customs process. Egbudin said why the manifest reads millets; the declaration was cigarette. With this mixed up the customs boss said he begin to suspect the consignment and asked for alert to be placed on them.

Noticing danger; the agent according to customs went to the shipping company; Comets shipping to doctored the document with new consignee; new product but with same Pre -Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR). The new manifest changes the consignee name from Oriental Int. Transport Ltd to Pullover Nigeria Limited and from cigarette to millet as the product. Cigarette is 10% Duty; 60% levy and 5% VAT, while millet is 5% duty.

According to the customs; apart from the danger the unregistered product could have caused to consumers; the government could have also lost N196;030,800 if this product had hit the market.

Egbudin warned all importers to desist from false declarations as the customs will not fail to prosecute all offenders and seized such goods as directed by the Comptroller General of the Service.