Controller, Customs FOU,’C’, Owerri, Comptroller Yussuf Lawal inspecting the live ammunition catridges it intercepted recently.
The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit (FOU) , Zone C, Owerri has said it has put in place preventive strategies to nab smugglers , thus warning such economy saboteurs to desist from the nefarious act of smuggling.
This is sequel to the intensification of its anti-smuggling operations which has led to its intercepting 5,200 live ammunitions cartridges of 30GR 70mm Calibre and various contraband with a duty paid value (DPV) of N378,751,935.00 between November 23rd to December 27th 2020.
Also the unit through its interventions recovered N7,557,731.00 from demand notices on general goods that tried to cut corners from seaports in the guise of false declaration, transfer of value, and shortchange in duty payment that are meant for the coffers of Federal Government of Nigeria, making a cumulative sum of N386,309,666.00 within the month under review.
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 the officers, 38 Jumbo bales of used clothing, 204 cartons of imported tomatoes and four used exotic vehicles.
The automobiles include 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. Three suspects were said to have been arrested in connection to these different seizures.
The Controller of the FOU, Zone ‘C’, Comptroller Yusuf Lawal made the revelation while addressing the media in Owerri Imo State Capital recently according to a Statement issued by the Public Relations Officer(PRO) of the Zone, Jerry Attah.
He expressed concerns over the trends in arms and ammunition smuggling in recent times making reference to the interception in Lagos in 2017, in kwara in 2018 and just recently in Kebi using different routes.
The Comptroller said the seized 5,200 live ammunition cartridges were concealed with other goods and household items in a passenger vehicle: Toyota Sienna with reg no: DKA 237 DW along Nwezenyi Ikom Road Cross River, based on credible and timely intelligence.
He added “Only God knows what would have happened if these cartridges get to its destination unchecked, considering the fragile security of the Nation: from Armed Robbery, Kidnapping, banditry to insurgency”. Comptroller Yusuf stated that the seized ammunitions fall under schedule 4 of the Common External Tariff, which its importation is absolutely prohibited.
The Comptroller attributed the achievement to the leadership style of the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) and the entire Management Team of the Service for their efforts in recognizing hard work, dedication and commitment adding that “without the Management’s motivation and necessary logistics support, we won’t have attained this feat within this short period”.
He also commended the commitment, doggedness and diligence of the officers and men of the FOU ‘C’ for thwarting the antics of some dare devil smugglers/economic saboteurs who used different methods to deceive the Service, while he charged his officers to be professional and diligent in performing their statutory responsibilities in the year 2021.
The Controller stated that the zone will do more this year but called on the general public and the members of the forth estate of the realm to join the Service in the advocacy campaign against the danger of smuggling to the Nation’s Economy”