Nine trucks of imported parboiled rice from the Benin Republic were seized on Wednesday by the Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Ikeja.
Ag Customs Area Controller, FOU, Zone A, Deputy Comptroller Hussein Ejibunu told reporters at a press conference in Lagos that the command also stopped 19,000 gallons of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), better known as petrol, from being smuggled out of the nation.
He claimed that his police seized 725 Jerry cans of PMS and 5,642 bundles of 50 kg of illegal grains.
He said, “The total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of the seized goods stood at N462.7million While the sum N66.49million was recovered as revenue into the federation account through the issuance of Demand Notice (DN) on Customs duties that were discovered to be underpaid.”
“13 suspects were arrested in connection with some of the seizures, and are at different stages of investigations and prosecution. I will also hand over three (3) suspects and cannabis sativa with a net weight of 7,728 kilogrammes to officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Lagos State Command; for further investigation and prosecution,” he stated.
Ejibunu also stated that the unit intercepted military hardwares, 7,728KG of Indian hemp also heading to the South-Eastern part of the country.
Ejibunu who said the military hardware consist of 15 pieces of bulletproof jackets; 15 pieces of jack knives and 20 pieces of bulletproof jackets said the military hardware are illegally brought into the country because they lack necessary documents such as end users certificate.
Other seizures according to the Customs boss are, 5,642 bags of foreign parboiled rice; 18,925 litres of premium motor spirit; 49 cartons of children school shoes; 357 kegs of vegetable oil; 1 unit of Honda Motorcycle and 2 fairly used vehicles.
He said, “within July 2023, the sedulousness of our officers led to the interception of smuggled 15 bulletproof jackets; 15 pieces of jack knives and 20 pieces of pistol pouches inside a Toyota Sienna Bus in Ogun State at Ijebu-Ode Checkpoint. The driver of the vehicle was arrested in conjunction with the seized controlled wares.
“It is pertinent to know that the importation of all forms of bulletproof materials such as vests, ballistic materials and vehicles, as well as parts and accessories for all military armaments and hardware such as guns, arms and ammunition of all kinds; lethal and non-lethal requires an end-user certificate.”
“An end-user certificate is applied to, and issued by the office of the national security adviser which loses its validity after one year from the issuance date. Hence, anyone importing a controlled item must do so within the validity period of the end-user certificate.”
Ejibunu, however, stated that the maiden working visit of the acting Comptroller General of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi, to the unit was a morale booster that spurred the officers to make the recent seizures.
“Seizures recorded within the period under review are a reflection of officers’ commitment to duty, and no compromise posture in the discharge of our statutory responsibilities; aimed at protecting the national economy and preventing the importation of prohibited, and harmful goods.
“This success story will not be complete without my expression of gratitude to the Ag. Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR whose maiden working visit to the Unit was a morale booster. I also use this medium to thank him and members of the management team for stoking our logistics for more gainful performance.
Also, the Customs boss, said the service recovered N66.49million from Demand Notice (DN), raised for importers due to under declaration of cargoes.