Customs Recovers Live Ammunitions, Rice, Other Contraband From Smugglers
The Nigeria Customs Service has recovered 5,200 live ammunitions, 1,215 bags of 50kg foreign parboiled rice, and 204 cartons of imported tomatoes from smugglers at the land border.
The service said other recovered items include 38 bales of used clothing, 204 cartons of imported tomatoes, four used exotic vehicles and other controlled pharmaceutical products at various locations between November 23 and December 27, 2020.
The Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘C’ Owerri of the NCS in a statement on Thursday said the recovered items had duty paid value of N386m.
Through its intervention, the Owerri Unit said it N7.56m were recovered from demand notices on general goods that evaded seaports duty in the guise of false declaration, transfer of value, and short-change in duty payment during the review period.
The Controller, Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘C’, Comptroller Yusuf Lawal, while addressing the media in Owerri, expressed concerns over the trend in arms and ammunition smuggling in recent times.
He made reference to the interception in Lagos in 2017, in Kwara in 2018 and just recently in Kebbi State, using different routes.
Lawal explained that the 5,200 live ammunition cartridges (30GR 70mm Calibre) intercepted on December 13, 2020, were concealed with other goods and household items in a passenger vehicle, Toyota Sienna, along Nwezenyi Ikom Road, Cross River.
He added, “Only God knows what would have happened if these cartridges got to their destination unchecked, considering the fragile security of the nation: from armed robbery, kidnapping, banditry to insurgency.”
Lawal stated that the seized ammunitions fell under schedule 4 of the Common External Tariff, which its importation was absolutely prohibited.
He added, “Other seized items include 1,215 bags of foreign parboiled rice 50kg each mostly concealed in bags of beans, maize and groundnut seeds all with the aim of deceiving our officers, 38 jumbo bales of used clothing and 204 cartons of imported tomatoes.
“Four used exotic vehicles, including one new bullet proof Toyota Landcruiser 2019 model (without end-user certificate), two Toyota Hilux 2016 and 2015 respectively, one Mercedes Benz ML350 2015, and other controlled pharmaceutical products at various locations.”
According to him, three suspects have been arrested in connection to the different seizures.
Lawal attributed the achievement to the leadership style of the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) and the entire management team of the Nigeria Customs Service for their efforts in recognising hard work, dedication and commitment.
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