By Godwin Oritse
THE Federal Operation Unit, Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, yesterday, said it seized over 9000 bags of foreign par-boiled rice alongside other prohibited items valued at N818.1million in the month of May.
Speaking to newsmen in its Ikeja office in Lagos, Controller of the Unit, Comptroller Hussein Ejibinu, said that a total of 41 suspects have also been arrested in connection with the trade infraction, adding that the Unit in a renewed vigor to fight menace of smuggling, had re-strategized its operations to block revenue leakages and to curb the import/export of prohibited goods.
Ejibunu also said that the Unit has employed the use of intelligence and meticulous documentary checks to recover the noticeably lost revenues, intercepted goods suspected to have contravened Customs laws and seized those that fall under the prohibition lists.
He said: “Citizens are once again, reminded of the need to support and key into the federal government’s policy aimed at supporting the growth of its local product.
“During the preceding month, officers of this Unit were on high alert along the port and the border corridors to ensure that, the national economy is protected from the activities of recalcitrant importers and traders.
In the course of duty, various goods were intercepted for different Customs offences, ranging from accurate duty payment evasion, concealment, under declaration, false declaration, transfer of value, to smuggling.
These seizures were made from various locations within the Zone (South-western States). Fourteen (14) suspects were arrested in connection with the crimes.
“The cumulative Duty Paid Value (DPV) of the seized items is N818.1million, upon documentary checks on some already released cargoes; duties found to have been under paid were reviewed and demand notices issued, N64.2 million was paid as revenue into the federal government coffers.