Federal Operations Unit (FOU) under Zone “A” of the Nigeria Customs Service has given its third quarter performances profile indicating massive seizures of sundry items with duty paid value in excess of =N=1Bilion and arrests of 107 suspects.
A breakdown revealed that between July and November 22, 2008, a total of 712seizures comprising of 500 units of vehicles, 224 seizures of items such as used tyres, vegetable oil, foot wears, textile materials and other sundry items.
A further breakdown shows that the highest number of seizures was made in October, standing at 213 seizures while between November 1 and 22, the unit also recorded 164 seizures.
Addressing news men on the feat last week in Lagos, the unit’s Comptroller, Mr. Rasheed Taiwo reaffirmed that the new management of the Nigeria Customs had mandated the unit to collect duty on all illegally imported vehicles that may be intercepted. Taiwo disclosed that this has aided the unit’s revenue collection profile.
According to him, the command has decided to extend its search for smugglers and smuggling activities beyond the traditional creeks, border areas and bush paths into warehouses and other hideouts.
He disclosed that the resolve to extend the scope of the anti-smuggling war has started yielding results as the command has been able to arrest some smugglers in their warehouses in various parts of Lagos. According to him, the seizure at the Trade Fair complex is so far the largest this year.
“We have decided not to just limit the struggle in the creeks, border areas or bush parts, but to any revealed suspected base/warehouse where smuggled goods could be found. So it is total war against smuggling”, he stressed.
The Comptroller also disclosed that the anti-smuggling drag net has caught some Chinese and a prominent chief whose identity he refused to disclose.
According to him, the volume of seizures is so high that there is no space for them at the government warehouse in Ikeja. The seizures are being moved to Customs facilities at the Ikorodu Lighter