Customs seizes 13 exotic bullet-proof cars in Abuja
• 265 other vehicles impounded nationwide
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has seized 13 exotic bullet-proof cars ostensibly smuggled into the country in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
Comptroller–General of Customs (CGC), Col. Hammed Ali (rtd.), said the cars have value of between N70 million to N240 million per unit.
Addressing newsmen at the NCS Headquarters where the exotic cars have been kept, Ali said the Customs had to seize the cars because beside the issue of non- payment of duty, their importation required clearance from the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), which the dealer was unable to produce at the time of filling this report.
He disclosed that the Customs’ Compliance Team identified the cars on Saturday, September 16, 2017 based on intelligent information at a Car Dealer’s Mart, Kefiano Motors Limited in the Central Business District, Abuja.
Besides the 13 exotic bullet–proof cars, five other models of executive high range vehicles were also identified at the Mart, which have no verifiable documents or evidence of duty payment, which strongly suggests there were smuggled into the country and displayed for sale at the mart.
His words: “Beyond the issue of non-payment of customs duty, 13 of these vehicles are bullet-proof. These vehicles require clearance from the Office of the NSA before importation.
“In a period of fragile security, we cannot afford to have unauthorised persons use armoured vehicles. Without the possession of End User Certificates (EUC), bringing in these vehicles is illegal’’
Ali said the vehicles are: two Range Rovers; one Rolls Royce; four Lexus; three G Wagons; two Prados; one Lincoln Navigator and one Infinity.
The others are: One Mercedes 4matic; two Toyota Sequoia and one Toyota Camry.
He added that seizing the vehicles was in line with the Customs powers as specified in Section 147 of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) Cap 45, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 (Laws to search Premises), as well as Section 158 of the CEMA cap 45, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (Powers to patrol freely.)
Meanwhile, Ali pointed out that the Customs Service also stepped up its anti – smuggling implementation of the Federal Government’s ban on importation of vehicles through land borders, leading to the seizures of some 265 smuggled vehicles across the country.
He gave the breakdown of the seizure as follows: Zone A, Lagos- 135 vehicles; Zone B, Kaduna- 93 vehicles and Zone C – Port Harcourt, 37 vehicles. Zone D, which is Bauchi, recorded no seizure of vehicles in the period under review.
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