The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), thr Federal Operations Unit, Zone A, has intercepted donkey skins, vehicles and others worth N1.24 billion in October.
The Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Hussein Ejibunu, said this at a news conference on Tuesday in Lagos.
Ejibunu said the donkey skins from Kaduna were intercepted along Onigari in Ibadan South Western part of the country.
He noted that the 730 sacks of hide and skin hidden was intercepted in a 1×40 container equivalent to 5,033 pieces.
Ejibunu noted that the unit had resolved to protect the Nigeria’s economy by enforcing the anti-smuggling laws in an uncompromising manner.
He added that they had deployed improved logistics supplied by the Comptroller-General of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi, to achieve this feat as being reflected in the seizures made.
Ejibunu said intelligence reports gathered over the years indicated higher degree of desperation by economic saboteurs to smuggle during the yuletide periods, but the unit is up to the task.
“I want to state that this unit of the service under my watch will make the remaining part of 2023 and beyond tough for smugglers in the interest of our country.
“We are ready to intercept them and frustrate their antics of concealment, illegal route passage, false declaration and under declaration.
“We are also determined to implement all the provisions of the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023, including the various penalties attached to offences while striving to ensure that perpetrators face the full wrath of the laws,” he said.
Ejibunu noted that their continuous quest to prevent revenue loss through various infraction such as under-valuation under-payments, and wrong classification, the sum of N115.5 million was collected following the issuance of demand notices to defaulters.
He pointed out that rice had been a recurring commodity in their list of seizures across various borders in the southwest zone.
Ejibunu said they were able to seize a total of 7,383 units of 50kg for bed rice from smugglers which amount to almost 13 trailer loads of rice
“A total of 17 vehicles were also seired from smugglers who wanted to circumvent the law by evading duty payment. For the avoidance of doubts, the ban on vehicle importation through land borders subsists.
“Our officers also intercepted 593 jerrycans (14,825 litres) of premium motor spirit Because of the volatility of this product, we have safely disposed of them in line with laid down due process,” he said.
He noted other seizures to include 657 pieces of used tyres, 167 (202 kg) parcels of hemp, 39 bales of second hand-clothing, 100 packs of tomato ketchup, 4 units of used motorcycle and 600 cartons of GIV soap.
Ejibunu said that nine suspects involved in the act were arrested, numerous others were undergoing trial in the court of which they had gotten victory in some cases .
The customs boss appealed to all well-meaning and patriotic Nigerians to continue to support the unit with credible information that would assist in battling economic sabotage.
“I also urge members of the press to always support us by using their position to discourage smuggling and any act that contravenes the customs law,” he said.