Cus­toms rakes in N1.6 bil­lion in La­gos, Ogun op­er­a­tions

FOU seizes 64 ex­otic ve­hi­cles, 10 trail­ers of rice

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - NEWS - By Su­lai­mon Salau

THE Fed­eral Op­er­a­tions Unit (FOU) of the Nige­rian Cus­toms Ser­vice (NCS) has in­ter­cepted con­tra­bands with duty paid value of about N1.6 bil­lion in just one month through its anti-smug­gling en­force­ments in La­gos and Ogun states.

The seized con­tra­bands in­clude 64 ex­otic ve­hi­cles, 6003 bags of for­eign par­boiled rice (equiv­a­lent to 10 trail­ers), 963 car­tons of frozen poul­try prod­ucts, 431 jer­rycans of veg­etable oil, 163 bales of used cloth­ing, 569 pieces of used tyres, 69 bags of sugar and four con­tain­ers, among oth­ers.

Some of the de­tained ve­hi­cles are: One Toy­ota Landcruiser (2018); one Es­calade Cardi­lac (2017); one Range Rover (2014); three Toy­ota Camry (2009, 2010 and 2017 models); one Toy­ota Rav4; one Toy­ota High­lander (2014); one Honda CRV and Ac­cord; one BMW Salon; one Toy­ota Si­enna; and one Hyundai, among oth­ers.

Cus­toms Comp­trol­ler of FOU Zone A, Ikeja, Mo­hammed Uba, who pa­raded the seized items in La­gos, en­joined the own­ers to come for­ward with rel­e­vant doc­u­ments of the ve­hi­cles.

Ac­cord­ing to him, about 570 parcels and 98 sacks of In­dian Hemp (Cannabis Sa­tiva) weigh­ing 1,550kg, was also in­ter­cepted along Olorunda axis of Ogun State through in­tel­li­gence tip off, mak­ing it the high­est seizure of such hard drugs in the his­tory of FOU Zone A.

Uba said that wor­thy of note is the evac­u­a­tion of 2,671 bags of 50kg rice, us­ing nine hired truck from nine makeshift stor­age houses in Ilogbo, Abeokuta, based on cred­i­ble tip off de­spite re­sis­tance, led by the La­gos Rov­ing Team and com­ple­mented by oth­ers.

“There was mob at­tack against our op­er­a­tives, but that never de­terred us from per­form­ing our statu­tory re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. Thank God there was no ca­su­alty.

“We will con­tinue to en­force the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s poli­cies on ban­ning the im­por­ta­tion of rice and other pro­hib­ited goods through the land borders re­gard­less of any sit­u­a­tion to en­cour­age ef­fi­ciency in lo­cal rice pro­duc­tion, which will cre­ate more em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for our team­ing youths,” he said.

Uba warned all smug­glers and their ac­com­plices to de­sist from such il­le­gal­i­ties and in­vest their money in le­git­i­mate busi­ness, not­ing that his unit has de­vised other op­er­a­tional modal­i­ties that will give them a run for their money, in­creased losses and fi­nally, end in jail.

He said 10 sus­pects were ar­rested in con­nec­tion with the 86 seizures.

He how­ever, handed over the In­dian Hemp to Na­tional Drug Law En­force­ment Agency (NDLEA) for fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

An of­fi­cer of NDLEA, La­gos State Com­mand, Lawal Isi­aka Opeloyeru, com­mended the FOU for the part­ner­ship with the agency in the fight against il­licit drugs.

He said: “With these re­cur­ring ex­pe­ri­ences on smug­gling of il­licit drugs, it is ex­pe­di­ent for us to form joint mo­torised pa­trol.”

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