Home Economy Customs impounds 9000 bags of foreign rice, other contraband, arrests 41 suspects

Customs impounds 9000 bags of foreign rice, other contraband, arrests 41 suspects

by Business News Report

Federal Operation Unit, Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS yesterday said it seized over 9000 bags of foreign par-boiled rice alongside other prohibited items valued at N818.1million for the month of May. Speaking to newsmen in its Ikeja office in Lagos, Controller of the Unit, Comptroller Hussein Ejibinu said that a total of41 suspects have also been arrested in connection with the trade infraction adding that the Unit in a renewed vigour to fight menace of smuggling, had re-strategised its operations to block revenue leakages and to curb the import/export of prohibited goods. Ejibunu also said that the Unit has also we employed the use of intelligence and meticulous documentary checks to recover the noticeably lost revenues, intercepted goods suspected to have contravened Customs laws and seized those that fall under the prohibition lists.

He explained that the high desire by majority of Nigerians to consume foreign parboiled rice, has a nexus with the number of smugglers scrambling to import the product in large quantities. He said: “Citizens are once again, reminded of the need to support and key into the federal government’s policy aimed at supporting the growth of its local product. “During the preceding month, officers of this Unit were on high alert along the port and the border corridors to ensure that, the national economy is protected from the activities of recalcitrant importers and traders. In the course of duty, various goods were intercepted for different Customs offences, ranging from; accurate duty payment evasion, concealment, under declaration, false declaration, transfer of value, to smuggling. These seizures were made from various locations within the Zone (South-western States). Fourteen (14) suspects were arrested in connection with the crimes.

Prominent among the goods seized within the month under review are:9,917 X 50kg bags of foreign parboiled rice (equivalent to over 16 truck-loads)812 X 5Kg and 120 X 2kg bags of basmati rice 41,950 liters of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS)4X20 Ft containers of unprocessed wood1,041 Bales of used clothes5 units of vehicles 8,500 pieces of used tyres599 cartons of frozen poultry products116.3 kilograms of Indian Hemp29 units of motor cycles54 cartons of creams42 units of Tiger generators3,260 pairs of used shoes. 

“The cumulative Duty Paid Value (DPV) of the seized items is N818, 1million, upon documentary checks on some already released cargoes; duties found to have been under paid were reviewed and demand notices issued, N64,2million was paid as revenue into the federal government coffers. May I use this opportunity to once again, thank patriotic citizens that provided information that led to the seizure of some un-conspicuous concealments. Likewise, our gratitude also goes to all compliant agents, importers and traders for their compliance. While we appreciate your sense of patriotism; on our part, we shall never relent in facilitating your genuine and legitimate businesses. I urge you to continue doing more to safeguard the economy of our dear country.”

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