LAGOS — THE Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has commenced investigation into the hacking of its Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) by fraudsters which has led to the loss of billions of Naira.
ASYCUDA is the central system through which the Customs controls its cargo clearance process with a view to monitoring revenue generation and volume of import.
Already, unspecified number of officers whose passwords might have been compromised and used by the fraudsters to access the Customs system have been suspended and are currently being investigated to ascertain their culpability
Confirming the development, Customs spokesman, Mr Adewale Adeniyi an Assistant Comptroller of Customs, told Vanguard that the matter was being investigated by the investigation unit of the organisation.
Adeniyi explained that password scam is one of the matters being investigated by the service as there are many other issues being investigated.
He stated that the issue of investigation of officers is a daily routine in the service.
On the number of officers involved in the password scam, and what would likely be the fate of the officer Mr Adeniyi stated “ I do not know the number officers involved in the matter, and it will be very unfair of me to speculate of what will become of the officers.
:”The fate of the officers will be determined by the out come of the investigation”
The suspended officers Vanguard gathered were mostly from the Lagos and Port-Harcourt axis of the service.
It was also gathered that the suspended officers might be dismissed if found culpable.
Vanguard learnt the use of password to access to Customs ASYCUDA system has been restricted to very senior officers from the level of Assistant Comptroller of Customs.
Investigation also revealed that the management is trying to manage the crisis so as not to jeopardize investigation.
The fraud Vanguard further gathered involved billions of Naira which according to investigation may affect the revenue target of the service for this year..
Vanguard also learnt that at a meeting yesterday with top brass of the NCS, the issue was not discussed so as to ensure that information is not leaked to officers under investigation.
Some Customs Area Comptrollers where some these frauds were perfected are also being investigated Vanguard gathered