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Customs intercepts arms and ammunition at Tin-can port

By Godwin Oritse

THE Port and Terminal Multi-services Limited (PTML) Customs Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has  intercepted 76 round of live ammunition and a spent bullet concealed in two vehicles.
Disclosing this to newsmen in Lagos yesterday, the Customs Area Comptroller of the Command Mr Austen Warikoru said that the ammunition which were neatly concealed in a Honda pilot with chassis number 521143 and a Tropper Isuzu with chassis number 920746 have been seized, while the ammunition handed over to the Police.

Warikoru said that a suspect who was arrested in connection with arms seizure has been released on bail as the owner is being awaited.
The Customs top brass also said that the bailed suspect (names with held) was the agent mandated by the owner who resides in Great Britain  to clear the vehicles before the items were confiscated.
Similarly, the Command has also detained  Fifteen containers carrying prohibited items belonging to a state government whose names and state  Warikoru refused to disclosed.

He explained that although, the item are outright contraband, but that if the state government has weaver to bring such items, the weaver must be declared to allow for the release of the containers.
“The state has a weaver, as soon as the weaver is presented, the containers will released
“Until this weaver is shown to us, by state government involved  the containers remains in our custody” he added.

The 15 x 40’  containers CAC further disclosed contained waste bin.
He also added that investigation into the arms importation is still going on.
Meanwhile, the Command has collected a total of N13.6billion between the months of January anf June 2009, a far cry from its targeted revenue collection of N50.4billion for the year.
Warikoru explained that the amount collected is also a far cry from what was collected in the period under review for the preceding year of 2008.

He said that while over N13billion was in the first half of 2009, only N8billion was collected for the first half of 2008.
The break down of the revenue collected at the  PTML Customs command, showed that over N7billion was realized from import duty payment, as against N3..9billion was collected from the 5% Value Added Tax (VAT).

For 7% port surcharge and 2% National Automotive Council fee (NAC) N561million and N59,832,00 was collected respectively, while Ecowas Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS) showed that over N546million was collected for the first half of the year.
The figures also showed that a total of N829,647,425.25 for the Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme (CISS), and about N30million was also collected as ceramic levy just as N38million as wine levy


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