The Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on Tuesday said that its officers have arrested a two-man syndicate who specializes in forging Customs clearing documents.
Briefing newsmen in Lagos, the acting Controller of the Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘A’, Hussein Ejibunu disclosed that as at the time of arrest, the syndicate were set to bring in more than 600 vehicles into Nigeria from Benin Republic.
He explained that the syndicate was arrested while in possession of fake Customs valuation stamp, fake Customs Duty Chart Book on vehicles amongst other documents.
According to the Customs acting Controller, “I8 suspects were arrested in connection with some of these offences in February 2023, and are at different stages of Investigation and prosecution.
Giving an insight, he said: “Sequel to the arrest of one suspect (Shuaibu Kolo) with a 2007 Mercedes Benz along Ajilete-ldiroko Road of Ogun State, whose arrest and in depth investigation led to the unravelling of over 600 pictures of vehicles domiciled in Benin Republic, awaiting to undergo forged clearing process by the same criminal syndicate before being moved in Nigeria.
He disclosed further that, “items recovered from the suspects in the course of arrest and investigation are: Fake Customs valuation stamp; Fake Customs Duty Chart Book on vehicles; Fake Customs documents and vehicle registration documents; Four computer monitors; Three computer processing units; One keyboard and One printer he said.
He also lamented that in the service’s resolve to safeguard the national economy and prevent revenue loss, officers of the unit who were on legitimate duties were ambushed and attacked by suspected smugglers and their sympathizers; using guns, machetes, charms and other dangerous items.
“The most recent incident of these kinds of assaults on officers is the one arrested using charms to attack personnel at Owoyele Igbogila road of Ogun State.
“Also, In our quest to prevent revenue loss through under-valuation, underpayments, and wrong classification, the sum of N103,604,297.32 was collected following the issuance of demand notices to defaulters”, he said.
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