Less than one month after the Federal Operations Unit (FOU) of the Nigeria Customs Service announced seizures of multi-million worth of goods, its operatives have again seized goods with duty paid value of about N143Million.
Giving an insight into how and where the goods were intercepted, the area controller, Alhaji Musa Tahir told reporters last week that 12 suspected smugglers were also arrested in connection with the offence. He disclosed that eight of the suspects have already been released in accordance with the law and that four were still being held.
According to Tahir, the seizures include 86 vehicles of different makes with duty paid value of about N65Million as well as 23 seizures of general goods such as imported rice, furniture, used electronics, second hand clothing, used tyres, vegetable oil and many others; all estimated to have duty paid value of about N78Million.
The controller also disclosed that some of the seized items were seized after been cleared at the Tin Can island Port and Port and Terminal Multiservices Limited terminal also at Tin Can. He also revealed that one of the trucks which was loaded with the seized items was actually arrested at Adeniji Adele (in central Lagos) after the goods had been freighted in through the Lagos waterfronts and creeks.
“We have recovered some documents which indicated that some of these containers are coming from the ports here around Lagos, some from PTML, some from Tin Can”.
The controller however dispelled insinuations that the seized containers was an indictment on the part of the Customs commands at the sea ports, saying that the Nigeria Customs Service is one organisation and that the essence of setting up the federal operations unit is to act as checks on the border and ports command.
“Those of us in federal operations are supposed to check those in the ports and that is why we have successfully made these seizures and we have a procedure for dealing with them. These seizures will be thoroughly investigated, if officers are found wanting, they will be properly dealt with according to the law”, he assured.