By Godwin Oritse
THE Federal Operations Unit (F O U) of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in Ikeja over the weekendÂ seized contraband goods with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N122million just as 20 suspected smugglers were arrested.
Disclosing this to newsmen , the Customs Comptroller in charge of the Unit Alhaji Muas Tahir said that the Unit recorded a total ofÂ 90Â seizures which are made of up general goods comprising of textiles, second hand clothings, used male and female shoes, used tires, vegetable oil, rice, poultry and plasticÂ products .
Besides, over 116 vehicles were among the seizures made and some of them were brought into the country in containers.Tahir explained that the owner of a 40″Â container laden with brand new generators had paid only duty of N70,000.00Â indicating an intention to cheat the government.Â He said â€œwe have a total of N121,939,660.00 as Duty Paid Value for the entire seizures within the period.
â€œApart from the above, about 15 containers released from various seaports are being detained. Some are being investigated for various contravention, while some have been converted as seizures having been found liable.
â€œOut of the 20 suspects arrested in connection with these seizures 8 have been released on bail. â€œI want to assure you that the antics of smugglers who kept on scheming new strategies in their activities will not discourage us in our efforts for a better economyâ€ he added .
Furthermore, the Customs ComptrollerÂ disclosed that some officers who aided the release of these goods from the ports have been invited and they have made useful statement.He also said that appropriate punishment will be meted out against any officer found to be culpable after the investigation.