Customs Intercepts N1.24bn Foreign Rice, 17 ‘Tokunbo’ Vehicles In Lagos, Ogun

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A, Lagos, on Tuesday, announced the interception of 13 trucks carrying 7,381 bags of 50kg foreign parboiled rice, 17 units of smuggled used vehicles also known as ‘Tokunbo’, all worth N1.24bn, and smuggled into the country from the neighbouring Benin Republic.
Reports that the Customs Unit has attributed the increase in the number of smuggling to the fast-approaching yuletide period.
However, in a press briefing in Lagos, the acting Customs Area Controller, FOU, Zone A, Hussein Ejibunu, said 14,825 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) were also intercepted on the verge of being smuggled out of Nigeria to neighboring Benin Republic.
The Customs boss further revealed that nine persons were arrested in connection with the smuggling of the contrabands intercepted in October 2023.
“Our reviewed strategies have been paying off as reflected in the seizures recently made by the Federal Operations Unit, Zone A, for October. We shall sustain our efforts towards deploying these strategies continuously. Before reeling out the list of seizures which amounts to N1.242 billion in Duty Paid Value (DPV). I want to state that this Unit of the Service under my watch will make the remaining part of 2023 and beyond tough for smugglers in the interest of our country.
“We are ready to intercept them and frustrate their antics of concealment, illegal route passage, false declaration, and under declaration. In addition, we are also determined to implement all the provisions of the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023, including the various penalties attached to offences while striving to ensure that perpetrators face the full wrath of the laws.
“In our continuous quest to prevent revenue loss through various infractions such as; under-valuation, under-payments, and wrong classification, the sum of N115.46 million was collected following the issuance of demand notices to defaulters,” Ejibunu stated.
Speaking further, the Customs boss noted that the importation of vehicles, new and used, through the land borders still remains banned by the federal government.
“Rice has been a recurring commodity in our list of seizures across various borders in the southwest zone. We were able to seize a total of 7,381 units of 50kg foreign parboiled rice from smugglers. This amounts to almost thirteen trailer loads of rice. A total of 17 vehicles were also seized from smugglers who wanted to circumvent the law by evading duty payment. For the avoidance of doubts, let me state again that the ban on vehicle importation through land borders subsists,” he stated.
He further pointed out that other items seized included used tyres; bales of second-hand clothing; 100 packs of tomato ketchup; and soaps, among others.
He appealed to Nigerians for credible information that would assist in combatting the smuggling of contraband into the country.
“Other items seized are used tyres; 167 (202 kg) parcels of Indian hemp; 39 bales of second hand-clothing; 100 packs of tomato ketchup; 4 units of used motorcycle; 600 cartons of GIV soap and 730 sacks of hide and skin hidden in a 1×40 container equivalent to 5,033 pieces.
“I am appealing to all well-meaning and patriotic Nigerians to continue to support the unit with credible information that will assist in battling economic sabotage,” he added.




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