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The Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit, Zone C Owerri, has reported 17 seizures of various contraband items with duty paid value of N112,617,700 in the month of March. The Unit during its anti-smuggling operations in March also intercepted and detained a huge consignment of medicaments worth N178,209,310 in duty paid value.
This brings the sum of duty paid value for seizures and goods in detention made in March to N250,951,010.
The Customs Area Controller for the Command, Comptroller Mohammed Uba, made this known while briefing the press in Owerri to highlight the activities of the Zone in March
He also said the Unit has recovered the sum of N48,742,845 in underpayments.
Giving a breakdown of the seizures, the Comptroller noted that rice topped the list of seized articles in March with a total of 2455 bags of rice with duty paid value of N77,558,800. Also seized were 1266 foot wears with duty paid value of N6,076,800, 307 used tyres with duty paid value of N3,789,600, 100, used shoes with duty paid value of N8,100,000 and 40 bales of used clothing with duty paid value of N5,280,000. The Unit also made seizure of 3 vehicles with duty paid value of N4,050,000.
Speaking on the medicaments that officers of the Unit intercepted in the Agbor axis of the Zone, Comptroller Mohammed Uba gave a rundown of the medicaments to include 268 cartons of Tramadol, 202 cartons of Pullegra, 36 cartons of Reall Octra, 928 packets of Tramadol. He said a sample of the various medicaments has been sent to the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control for tests and verification while the consignment is being detained for further investigations.
Conducting newsmen on a tour of the government warehouse in Benin Edo State where some of the seized items were deposited, Comptroller Uba noted that the nefarious activities of smugglers endanger the health and safety of Nigerian citizens, affects the economy, and even pose a threat to national security.
He reiterated the unflinching resolve of the Zone under his watch to make the Zone uncomfortable for smugglers to operate and urged Nigerians to be patriotic and report any smuggling activities in their areas to the service. Any valuable information forwarded to the Unit, he pledged, will be treated in confidence.
He also commended the untiring efforts of the officers and men of the Unit who have continually seen to revenue generation amounting to multimillions in naira.
He added that the continuous support of the Comptroller General of Customs, Col Hameed Ali (Rtd) and the Service Management team in the areas of staff training and provision of working tools has further strengthened anti-smuggling operations of the zone. He restated the readiness of his Zone to thwart all efforts of unscrupulous elements bent on economic sabotage of the nation.
He advised smugglers as well as fraudulent importers to channel their resources towards legitimate trade and economic ventures and desist from engaging in smuggling activities, as the NCS and indeed the zone, will not renege on its statutory functions of suppression of smuggling.
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