By Udeme Clement
The Customs Area Controller, CAC, Federal Operations Unit, FOU, Zone ‘A’, Comptroller Mohammed Uba, has attributed the mind boggling seizure of 37 assorted vehicles with a Duty Paid Value, DPV, of N1.37bilion to increased intelligent network of officers in the Unit.
He disclosed this in a chat with Sunday Vanguard, explaining that the smuggled vehicles, which include eight Lexus Jeep LX 570, 2017 model, 12 Land Cruiser Jeep, 2017 model and 17 Toyota Hilux of 2016, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009 models, were intercepted by officers of FOU in synergy with CGC Compliance Team in Lagos through credible source of information.
According to him, the signal received by the officers as well as intelligence driven approach put to effective use paved the way for them to trail the vehicles smuggled into the country through unapproved routes, in a bid to escape security checks.
He Said, “The efforts of CGC Ali Hameed in repositioning the Service is why we are achieving this positive result. From 13th July to 7th August, 2017 within just few days, we recorded 156 seizures with DPV of N1.6 billion.
Some of the items intercepted include130parcels of Cannabis Sativa (Indian Hemp), 75bales of second hand clothing, 135cartons of imported frozen products, a 40ft container loaded with 1,145pieces of used tyres, three units of vehicles, another container with registration number MSKU 146823391X carrying 1,563 used tyres, 768 packages of wooding cabinets in different sizes, 110 pieces of iron folding chairs and 447 packages of iron cabinets.
We arrested 17 suspects in connection with the seizures. 11 of them were released on bail while six are still in detention. We are warning smugglers to desist from nefarious activities and allow sanity in our economic environment, as we will not hesitate to arrest and prosecute anyone sabotaging government’s effort to grow the economy”.
On how they carried out the operations successfully without any causality, he said, “Our officers are well trained, so they were able to monitor the movement of the smugglers to unapproved routes and seized the vehicles. We used the information within our disposal, effective community relation, in collaboration with other security agencies to burst the antics of those smugglers.”