…Customs FOU Zone B lands 623 seizures H1 ’19
By Eguono Odjegba
THE Federal Operations Unit Zone B of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, in Tin-Can made a total of 623 seizures with duty paid value of N1.1 billion between in the first half of 2019.
This followed the relocation of server managers at the Tin Can port terminal grounds activities at the terminal.
Controller of the Unit, Compt. Musterpha Sarkin-Kebbi told Vanguard Maritime Report that this year’s seizures and value almost doubled that of 2018 which he put at N504 million.
This is even as he attributed the increase in the Unit’s anti-smuggling activities to improved strategies and increased morale of the operatives.
Sarkin-Kebbi explained that 14 suspects were arrested in connection with the seizures, stressing that two have so far been successfully prosecuted.
The Zone B Unit, Tin-Can boss disclosed that intelligence has shown that smugglers have resorted to planting spies around his operatives, but declared that his men will always be a step ahead and on top of their game using technology-driven intelligence and other legitimate enforcement and surveillance machinery.
He gave the breakdown of the seizures at Tin-Can to include 1,550 packs of tramadol, 153 vehicles, 8,618 bags of rice, 820 cartons of spaghetti, 333 units of used tyres, 1,035 jerry cans of vegetable oil, 167 bags of sugar and 147 bales of used clothing.
He explained that the unit has also uncovered and foiled attempts by smugglers to repackage imported foreign rice is locally grown rice bags to deceive unsuspecting consumers.
Meanwhile, activities at the bonded terminals operating under the scrapped Tin Can Island 11 Command, also known as Lilypond Command, have been grounded in the past two weeks following total wind-down of Customs activities at the command.
The premises is now under restructuring as truck parking terminal under the supervision of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA.
Findings by Vanguard Maritime Report indicate that trouble started when officers in charge of the server unit at Lilypond Apapa were reassigned to sister commands in ‘Zone A’ following the conversion of the former command into truck parking terminal by the Federal Government. Tin-Can
Owing to the development, activities at the bonded terminals attached to the former command, not only ceased for lack of servers, but importers whose containers were stemmed to the affected bonded terminals are now stranded. Tin-Can
Officials of some of the affected bonded terminals who spoke with our reporter off record said management was working at getting the management of Customs and Webb Fontane to fix the problem. Tin-Can