Customs FOU Zone B Seizes over N1bn Worth of Prohibited Items in 2 Months

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has announced that it has seized prohibited items worth over one billion naira (N1 billion) since the beginning of year 2024.

NCS revealed that some of the items seized include; 237 bags of foreign parboiled rice (50Kg each), 1837 cartons of foreign spaghetti, macaroni and couscous, 1707 jerry-cans of Premium Motor Spirits (PMS), 25litres each, 3459 cartons/sachets of Amoxicillin, Artesunate, 500 Mg, 35 cartons of flame lighters and 2089 cartons of foreign dates.

Other seizures made are; 142 cartons of YES Cigarettes, 810 pieces of foreign used tyres and many vehicles deposited at various Customs formations in the Zone.

The total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of seizures made within the time frame is worth One Billion, Nine Hundred and Seventy-Five Million, Six Hundred and Fifty-Seven Thousand, Eight Hundred and Sixty-Five Naira and Ninety-Six Kobo (N1, 975,657,865.96).

This was made known in a statement issued by the Comptroller of Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘B’ Kaduna, Dalha Wada Chedi on Friday.

According to the statement, the operatives of the unit said it has remained resolute in the fight against smuggling which has resulted in seizures of 27 different items ranging from used foreign shoes, foreign parboiled rice, Second hand clothing, expired milk and juice powder, among others.

“On Wednesday, 24 January 2024 at about 2200hrs, the operatives of the unit intercepted One (1) truck conveying One Hundred and Seventy-Nine (179) Bags of Tiger Nuts (50Kg each) based on intelligence along Maigatari/Malamfatori/Birniwa axis of Jigawa State.

“On the 3rd February 2024, the operatives of the Unit arrested Three (3) Trucks along Gumel-Kano road in Jigawa State. The arrest was made following information shared by the intelligence network of the NCS-Headquarters, Abuja on the suspicion that they were conveying prohibited items.

“Hundred percent (100%) physically examination was conducted at the premises of Kano/Jigawa Command and the Three (3) trucks were found to contained 5076 Cartons of Foreign soap, 703 bales of Foreign second-hand clothing, 925 cartons of macaroni, 320 bales of foreign textiles and 12 Jumbo sacks of foreign used shoes,” the statement read in part.

NCS said two (2) suspects have been arrested and detained at the Kano/Jigawa Command in the process, stressing that they have been granted administrative bail pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation.

It also stated: “Also on 11 February 2024 at about 2200hrs, the operatives of the Unit acting on credible intelligence along Tsafe-Funtua Road in Zamfara State intercepted One (1) truck on the suspicion of improper importation.

“Further examination revealed that the truck was conveying 75 cartons of expired foreign jolly juice powder and 8 sacks of foreign expired milk powder that were found to have expired since 2019 thus unfit for human consumption. The expired milk was concealed with sacks of dried hides & skin. These are expired, unused and contaminated items which if not intercepted by our operatives would cause havoc to the society in general.”

Customs further explained that the foreign dates and the tiger-nuts by their nature are edible and perishable goods, hence they would be auctioned in line with the provisions of paragraph 15 (b) of the Schedule of the Nigeria Customs Service Act No. 35, 2023.

“These unprecedented seizures were made as a result of contravention of several sections of NCS Act 2023 and breach of extant Presidential directives on border closure.

“It is a fact that things are difficult for common men in this country, despite this; smugglers are adding to the suffering of the citizens by smuggling these expired and unhealthy items that are injurious to health and wellbeing of the people.”

Similarly, NCS disclosed that it will continue to arrest situations that may harm the citizens of the country and urged the general public to always see the personnel of the Service as citizens. It also maintained that the Service will not relent until smugglers are out of business.

Customs enjoined the members of the public to be on its side in fighting the menace of smuggling which undermines government goal for revenue generation – and aims at compromising the health of unsuspecting Nigerians.

“This is a fight that we all must give priority to for the president to succeed and deliver on the renewed hope agenda to Nigerians.”

It expressed gratitude to its management led by Comptroller Bashir Adewale Adeniyi for his morale boosting leadership and encouragement to the officers and men of the Service.

Hope Ejairu

Hope Ejairu is a writer, sports analyst and journalist, with publications on print and digital media. He holds certifications in various media/journalism trainings, including AFP.

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