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Customs impounds Indian hemp, Tramadol, others worth N15.6bn

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he Federal Operation Unit, FOU, Zone 'B' Kaduna of the Nigeria Customs Service, NSC, has seized items from January to June worth N1.6 billion.
Nigeria Customs Service

By Godfrey Bivbere

 

THE Federal Operations Unit, FOU, Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service, intercepted Indian hemp, Tramadol, pharmaceutical products and other contraband goods worth N15.6 billion in the first half of 2020. This is even as the unit raised debit notes on underpayments of duty for imported goods cleared from the nation’s ports in Lagos worth N1.3 billion.

While contrabands intercepted by the unit were from smugglers terrorising the South Western states of the country include used vehicles, textiles, foreign parboiled rice, tomato paste, second hand clothing among others. The D/N was raised on importers who under-declared their cargoes for lesser Customs duty.

Addressing the media in Lagos, weekend, the Acting Customs Area Controller, CAC of the Unit, Usman Yahaya, said N15.6billion was generated from contrabands seized from smugglers while N1.4 billion were raised from wrong classification, transfer of value, and false declaration of cargoes.

Yahaya’s words, “the total duty paid value of N15.6bn were premised on seized contrabands while the N1.3billion was revenue from the Unit’s interventions arising from wrong classifications, transfer of value and false declarations by importers. So, a total of N17billion was recovered for the federal government in the period under review.”

According to the CAC, the unit also intercepted a truckload of banned textile materials worth N565million naira imported from Benin Republic. He also disclosed that 18,760 bags of foreign parboiled rice smuggled into the country from Benin Republic and 64 units of exotic vehicles were intercepted and detained for duty evasion and underpayment.

He said, “A quick glance of our spectacular seizure reports from January 7, 2020, shows 64 exotic vehicles including two bulletproof, 18,760 bags of 50 kilogrammes of foreign parboiled rice valued at N469million, 1,338 kg of Indian hemp worth N201million, and 147 sacks (9,504kg) of Pangolin scales worth N10.4billion.

“Others are 3,059 cartons of tomato paste, 10,653 cartons of frozen poultry products, 5,423 kegs of 25 liters each of vegetable oil, 56,472 bundles of printed textiles valued at N565million, 66 packs of Tramadol, 872 bales of second-hand clothing worth N61million, 11,077 cartons of frozen products worth N177million.”

Also intercepted were 5,423 kegs of vegetable oil valued at N87million, 7,549 jerry cans of Petroleum Motor Spirit valued at N27million, five container loads of pharmaceuticals valued at N2.9 billion, 64 units of motorcycles used for smuggling valued at N565million among others.

Yahaya, however, warned smugglers to embrace legitimate business as the unit is ready to send them out of illegitimate business. He said: “My message to smugglers is that they should stop smuggling and embrace legitimate business because the unit is ready to run them out of business. We are always a step ahead of them through intelligence gathering and steadfastness. We won’t get tired until the service suppressed smuggling finally from the South West.”

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