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Apapa Customs smokes out container of Tilapia fish from Turkey
The renewed vigour in service delivery of the Apapa Area Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has paid off following the seizure of a 40-feet container laden with 2,700 cartons of Tilapia frozen fish valued at N22 million.
Controller of the command, Comptroller Jibril Umar while briefing newsmen in Apapa, said the container laden with frozen fish which was imported into the country from Turkey was falsely declared to contain apples.
While revealing that the false declaration was discovered upon the scanning of the container, he explained that the imported fish species falls under the federal government fish import prohibition list, adding that importers of allowable species of fish are expected to obtain licence and permit as well as necessary quota before such importation into the country.
According to him, “As part of our collective resolve to ensure strict compliance with government import prohibition rule, we recently uncovered an attempt to smuggle Tilapia frozen fish into the country.
“In a bid to evade detection and arrest, the importer made a false declaration that the container was laden with apples.
“But upon scanning, we discovered this to be untrue as the container contained 2,700 cartons of Tilapia frozen fish from Turkey. The aforementioned fish species is under restriction,” he said.
He disclosed further that a suspect had been arrested in connection with the seizure while investigation has commenced to “bring other accomplices to book”.
He averred that the command has already opened communication with the Agricultural and Plant Quarantine Service and the National Agency for Food Drugs Administration Control (NAFDAC) for laboratory checks.
Business Hilights recalls that only last week, he Federal Ministry of Agriculture said anyone found importing frozen fish without license from the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture of the ministry risked a five- year jail term or fine of $250, 000 or both