The Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit, Zone “C”, Owerri, Imo state has intercepted a 2019 model of Toyota Hilux with Police security number plate along Benin axis of the command for duty payment evasion.
It was gathered that N24,975,000 is the expected Duty Payable on the vehicle.
The zone, through its operatives in Benin, also said that over seven exotic motor vehicles worth DPV of N132,413,200 were also seized between March and July, 2020.
Briefing journalists at Customs Warehouse in Benin in Edo state, the Customs Area Controller, Mr. Kayode Olusemire stated that the security number plate on the vehicle was to evade interception by the customs men on the road.
“The number plate on the Hilux was to evade the custom men on the road from paying the duty on the vehicle. Little did the driver know that the operatives of customs are intelligent enough to differentiate between a motor that has Duty Paid Value on it and the one that has not, that is a smuggled vehicle”, he said.
He further stated that smuggling in of vehicle into the country was inimical to the nation’s economy, but wondered why some Nigerians would buy exotic motor vehicles without paying the accruing duty on them.
“I want to categorically state that officers and men of the Nigeria Custom Service will not relent in seizing any vehicle found to be smuggled into the country, without paying the necessary duty. That is one of the primary mandates we have. Smuggling in of cars without duties paid on them is inimical to the nation’s economy” Olusemire said.
In another development, the Customs Area Controller Roving Information patrol team along Benin-Shagamu road had arrested over 4,023 used tyres, worth DPV of N58,637,200.
Olusemire blamed the carnage on the roads to motorists and their use of used and expired tyres.
He said that smuggling of used tyres had been prohibited by the Federal Government and wondered why some Nigeria business men were still involved in the illicit business.
Olusemire said, "54 per cent of the accidents on our roads are caused by use of expired tyres. It may interest you to know that smugglers have shifted from smuggling in of foreign rice and diverted to smuggling in of used tyres. This is because Nigerians, on our campaign on patronizing locally made rice, have resorted to abandon the avid love for foreign to local ones”.
He therefore advised motorists to stop buying used tyres, adding that the risks involved in it were better imagined than experienced.