Customs clears 8,419 imported vehicles at Seme border in three months
Arrest 36 alleged smugglers
THE Seme command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) cleared not less than 8,419 imported vehicles between January and March, this year.
Meanwhile, the Federal Operations Unit (FOU), zone ‘A’ Ikeja has arested 36 suspects for their alleged involvement in smuggling activities.
According to the spokesperson of Seme command, Ernest Olottah, N1.3billion was realised within the period from the Vehicle Import Transit regime it entered into with Benin Republic.
He explained yesterday that the command also recorded 200 seizures with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N42.8 million.
He added that seized goods included bags of rice, vegetable oil, narcotics, second hand shoes and bags, among others.
He assured members of the public of a peaceful environment for legitimate trade at Seme, adding that the command collected N 2.5billion as revenue in the first quarter of 2015.
Olottah said: “Within the first quarter of the year, the command collected the sum of N2, 583, 548, 432.53 as revenue which was an improvement over the sum of N2, 133, 776, 367. 31 collected in the same period in 2014.
“The increase was achieved through the motivational effort of the command’s Area Controller, cooperation from our stakeholders and result of the command’s enlightenment programmes in the surrounding communities”, said Olottah.
In a related development, FOU zone ‘A’ Ikeja, within three months effected 482 different seizures valued at N228.906million.
The payable duty of the items was put at N65.538m while the Duty Paid Value is N294.444.
A statement issued by zone’s Public Relation Officer, Ejesieme Uche, advised members of the public to desist from smuggling activities.
Ejesieme quoted the Controller, Usman Adamu Turaki, as saying the confisticated items includes 133 different seizures of 50kg parboiled rice with a DPV of N55.7m; 74 different seizures of smuggled frozen poultry products totaling 11,647 cartons of frozen poultry products with a DPV of N62.893m and 86 units of assorted fairly used vehicles valued at N108,540,000.
He explained that there were also 189 different seizures of general goods, including new and used textile materials, new and used foot wears, vegetable oil, mosquito insecticide, wine, various soap and Spagethei with a DPV of N67.214m.
The statement explained that the report for the period under review represents over 45 per cent increase in terms of quality and quantity of seizures when compared with the corresponding period of 2014.
Explaining further, he said: “We are confident that our renewed zeal and optimism will be the catalyst for optimal performance. The war against smuggling, no doubt, is a herculean task, because of the natural tendency for a smuggler to fight back each time their goods are seized.
“However, we have remained undeterred as we believe that we have a responsibility to secure the nation against influx of prohibited goods/items and we will not abdicate this responsibility for whatever reason. We call on Nigerians to support the Nigeria Customs Service through genuine information that could assist us in tracking smugglers and their routes”, said the statement.
According to the statement, the unit will continue to strategize on its operational plans with a view to ensuring that “we are steps ahead of smugglers.
“We have also institutionalized the concept of Customs Community Relation (CCR) which is meant to provide an enabling environment for operations in our places of assignment.