By Godfrey Bivbere and Providence Emmanuel
THE Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), has intercepted smuggled vehicles and other items with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N1.4 billion. About 37 assorted vehicles (eight Lexus Jeep LX 570; 12 Land Cruiser Jeep, all 2017 model and 17 Toyota Hilux) 12,081 parboiled rice with DPV of N149.01 million; anti-smuggling operations yielded 156 assorted seizures including bales of used clothing, Indian Hemp and used Tyres were smuggled into the country via unapproved routes.
Speaking at a briefing on seizures, Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali, (retd) said that the service would continue to work towards crippling smugglers and getting them out of the illegitimate business, adding that smuggling is not a war that can be fought by the Nigerian customs alone but a war that must be fought by every Nigerian.
He said the federal policies banning the importation of rice and vehicles through the land borders are still in force, adding, “in the face of security and economic challenges, no responsible government will fold its hands while unpatriotic elements continue to engage in illegal activities that will further compromise national economic and security well-being of her people. This is a job for all patriotic Nigerians, customs alone cannot stop this, therefore whatever we do, especially major interceptions, would be brought to the notice of Nigerians so that the public can know the great consequences of what smuggling is doing to our own economy, this is one of the most terrible aspect of sabotage.
“It is not government because government acts on behalf of the 180 million Nigerians and it is not the customs. We do paper works, we don’t see the money. This deprivation is to the entire 180 million Nigerians.”