Customs rakes in N1.6 billion in Lagos, Ogun operations
FoU seizes 64 exotic vehicles, 10 trailers of rice
The Federal Operations Unit (FoU) of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted contrabands with duty paid value of about N1.6 billion in just one month through its anti-smuggling enforcements in Lagos and Ogun states.
The seized contrabands include 64 exotic vehicles, 6003 bags of foreign parboiled rice (equivalent to 10 trailers), 963 cartons of frozen poultry products, 431 jerrycans of vegetable oil, 163 bales of used clothing, 569 pieces of used tyres, 69 bags of sugar and four containers, among others.
Some of the detained vehicles are: One Toyota Landcruiser (2018); one Escalade Cardilac (2017); one Range Rover (2014); three Toyota Camry (2009, 2010 and 2017 models); one Toyota Rav4; one Toyota Highlander (2014); one Honda CRV and Accord; one BMW Salon; one Toyota Sienna; and one Hyundai, among others.
Customs Comptroller of FoU Zone A, Ikeja, Mohammed Uba, who paraded the seized items in Lagos, enjoined the owners to come forward with relevant documents of the vehicles.
According to him, about 570 parcels and 98 sacks of Indian Hemp (Cannabis Sativa) weighing 1,550kg, was also intercepted along Olorunda axis of Ogun State through intelligence tip off, making it the highest seizure of such hard drugs in the history of FoU Zone A.
Uba said that worthy of note is the evacuation of 2,671 bags of 50kg rice, using nine hired truck from nine makeshift storage houses in Ilogbo, Abeokuta, based on credible tip off despite resistance, led by the Lagos Roving Team and complemented by others.
“There was mob attack against our operatives, but that never deterred us from performing our statutory responsibilities. Thank God there was no casualty.“We will continue to enforce the Federal Government’s policies on banning the importation of rice and other prohibited goods through the land borders regardless of any situation to encourage efficiency in local rice production, which will create more employment opportunities for our teaming youths,” he said.
Uba warned all smugglers and their accomplices to desist from such illegalities and invest their money in legitimate business, noting that his unit has devised other operational modalities that will give them a run for their money, increased losses and finally, end in jail.He said 10 suspects were arrested in connection with the 86 seizures.
He however, handed over the Indian Hemp to National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for further investigation.An officer of NDLEA, Lagos State Command, Lawal Isiaka Opeloyeru, commended the FoU for the partnership with the agency in the fight against illicit drugs.He said: “With these recurring experiences on smuggling of illicit drugs, it is expedient for us to form joint motorised patrol.”with Customs so that we can bring together our expertise to cover the loopholes and checkmate the criminals.”