Some of the seized exotic vehicles at FOU A on Thursday last week
The Shippers’ Association Lagos State (SALS) has explained that owners of smuggled detained vehicles might not be able to show up with necessary documents because they are afraid of arrest.
The president of the association; Rev Jonathan Nicol gave this explanation last week in a chat with Shipping Position Daily on Lagos.
He charged the customs to double the duties payable on those vehicles as a punishment for the smugglers.
"Well, they are scared because they said they have violated the law and once they come, they (Customs) will arrest them, that's why they are scared. So what Customs should do is to increase the duty if it is supposed to be 20% make it 50% as a penalty for violating the law. Then people will come and pay and if the person pays, the person has to bring the receipt of payment”, he said.
He also frowned at auctioning of vehicles saying that it yields less money for the government than paying double duty, even as he argued that auctioning procedure in the country is mostly based on sentiments.
He also added that: "I am not too keen about auctioning people’s goods, why don't we call the people to come in and pay and collect their vehicles, the government will make more money than auctioning the vehicles. People auction the cars to the people they like at a very ridiculous amount"
"If you violate the law and you pay the penalty the government should increase the duty on the vehicles and allow them take their good, next time they won't violate that law".
He maintained the customs service should call on the government approved auctioneers to do the auctioning work instead of using the computer.
"They have auctioneers, they should allow them to do the right thing. Because if they have appointed auctioneers and these goods were seized, they are supposed to hand over the vehicles to the auctioneers to do the auctioning, so that some people can go there and pick. Because we cannot trust the system any more, a system where people can hack-in and do whatever they like. So if they are doing auctioning they should make it transparent enough for everybody to see that some one actually bidder for the vehicle. If you now say u want to use the system how transparent will that be people will end IP buying the vehicles for themselves", he concluded.