By Ifeyinwa Obi
The Apapa Command of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), yesterday seized a cache of arms and ammunition concealed in a 40-feet container, at APM terminals.
According to the Commandâ€™s Area Comptroller, Mr. Akinde Adewuyi: â€œThe 40-feet container was declared as personal effect, but on examination, it wasÂ discovered to be carrying personal and household effects and a carton of gun cleaning kit with accessories and chemicals, two boxes of gun assembling tools, a small bag of gun powder, reloading scales and other precision tools, 539 empty shells of various calibers, 5218 live ammunition of various calibers, target practices accessories, books of instructions on arms practice, among others.
It took my men three day to recover these ammunition and as am talking now there is still a big save in the container which my men where unable to open. I hope will recover more armsÂ immediately we our hands on the consignee and the save is openedâ€,the comptroller added.
He also stated that container has been detained for contravention of schedule 4 of the common External Tariff pending further investigations, while the clearing agent and one other suspect have been arrested and are currently in detention helping the command in their investigations.
Adewunyi also said the suspects and the offending items will be handed over to the appropriate government agencies when the command conclude investigations.
He commended the effort of the intelligence network, saying that it was them that indicated the 20x20feetÂ containersÂ of vegetable oil.
â€œThe consignee was trying to move the containers to Inland Container Depot Kano on transire as Industrial raw material. On examination of four randomly selected containers they were found to contain Saba premium grade vegetable cooking oil in 25 liter Jerry cans.
The consignment was imported from Singapore but the product was manufactured in Malaysia. You will recall that importation of refined vegetable oil contravenes section 5 schedule 3 of the common external tariff 2008-2012. The containers have since been seized and the suspects have been detained pending further investigations,â€ he stated.
Recalling other achievement of the command he said:Â As you are already aware, the service is expected to collect N650 billion as revenue for the year 2009. The bulk of this amount amounting to about 38% of the expected revenue which is N244 billion is allocated to the command. So far the we have collected N122.117 billion from January to September, 2009. Though an improvement when compared with corresponding period in 2008, when a total of N101 billion was collected, we donâ€™t wish to rest on our oars.
We have intensified our effort to collect and surpass our target. All officers have been placed on alert to look out for all cases of under declaration of quantity and value with a view to applying necessary sanctions to the declarants. We are therefore appealing to stakeholders particularly the importers and their agents to make true and correct declarations to the customs.
It is necessary at this time to emphasis that the economy of the nation should be placed above all other personal considerations hence all Nigerians including the importers should adopt the right attitude in tune with the expectations of the new management of customs.â€