Customs FOU arrests 30 suspects, recovers N24.2m under-payment
BETWEEN January and June, this year, the Federal Operations Unit (FOU) of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Zone “C” Owerri arrested 30 suspects and recovered N24.2million under-payment Speaking on the performance of the unit within the period, Customs Area Controller (CAC), Comptroller Dimka Victor David, also disclosed that 48 seizures was recorded.
The unit put the Duty Paid Value (DPV) at N197.3million. According to Dimka, the smuggling occurred on the Benin/Asaba expressway, Owerri/Port-Harcourt Road and Enugu axis respectively, adding that 20 cases are now pending in court in respect of the seizures.
Dimka identified the seizures as “69 bales of second hand clothing, 39 vehicles, 139 pieces of used tyres, 244 pairs of used foot wears and 60 bags of 50kg rice”.
He decried increase in the number of ‘exotic vehicles’ seized by his unit on daily basis, adding that members of the public who wish to purchase vehicles should ensure that they go through the official channels “and to always verify from the Customs before investing their money, all illegally imported goods would be impounded as ignorance of the Law is no excuse”.
A statement issued by the unit’s Public Relation Officer (PRO), Onuigbo Ifeoma quoted Dimka as saying NCS will not succumb to pleadings for leniency and pardon by individuals caught in the act of smuggling; pointing out that “will amount to compromising the statutory responsibilities of the establishment”.
The Customs Area Controller, who decried the upsurge of smuggling of contraband goods in the country despite obvious stiff penalties for culprits, assured that the Nigeria Customs Service would not be deterred in its patriotic mission to bring the scourge to its barest minimum.
Dimka reminded those still immersed in smuggling to be mindful of the fact that the shady deal had brought sorrows and grief to those arrested and their families, stressing that they should turn a new leaf, before it is too late.
He commended members of the public who have “courageously and patriotically supplied the unit with relevant information bordering on smuggling”, adding that such information will never be divulged in line with the ethics of the profession.