Customs foils alleged attempt to export 17 trucks of woods



Impounds N572.1m rice, poultry products

The Federal Operations Unit (FOU) of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Zone ‘A’, yesterday said it had foiled alleged attempt by some unidentified businessmen to export 17 trucks of unprocessed teak woods.

According to the unit, the alleged attempt is contrary to the provisions of Nigeria’s export prohibition list.

It said a full-scale investigation had commenced to unravel the circumstances and all those behind the alleged attempt to illegally export the products.

The Public Relations Officer of the Unit, Mr. Uche Ejesieme, stated that the 17 trucks were apprehended between January and March this year.

Quoting the Controller of the Unit, Umar Mohammed Dahiru, Ejesieme in a statement explained that within the period, various contraband items ranging from imported frozen poultry products, foreign parboiled rice, vehicles, vegetable oil, trucks of unprocessed teak woods and other general merchandise were confiscated.

In the statement, the Controller said that a total of 4,911 bags of 50kg parboiled rice, 15,048 cartons of imported frozen products, 1,884 vegetable oils and 17 trucks of unprocessed teak woods were intercepted in addition to unspecified number of general merchandise.

The Controller, who said the “latest onslaught” came against the backdrop of the recent directive on the ban of rice importation through the land borders by the NCS management, gave the Duty Paid Value (DPV) of the rice, frozen poultry products, vegetable oil and other general merchandise aside the teak wood as N572.1million.

Besides, he said that three (3) brand new Toyota Prado Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) were also intercepted during the same period, adding that “their status could not be ascertained as at the time of this report.”

He, however, confirmed that the agent had been requested to produce the Customs documents “which will expectedly provide the necessary clue on the status of the vehicles.”

The Controller, who stated that what made the seizures of the frozen poultry products remarkable was the circumstances and mode of concealment of the frozen poultry products, disclosed that most of the seizures of frozen products were carefully concealed with frozen fish “ostensibly to divert the attention of the operatives”.

On the issue of rice, the Controller, who said importation of rice is only restricted for now through the seaports as against the border stations, warned rice importers to adhere very strictly with the latest policy or be ready to face the full wrath of the law.

He said: “The Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC) and his management are working tirelessly despite the present harsh economic challenges to re-position the Service for greater efficiency and functionality.”

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