By Uche Usim
In furtherance of its anti-smuggling drive, the Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘C’, Owerri has again seized two new bullet-proof Toyota Prado Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs), among other vehicles and contraband goods with a total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N545,651,050.
The Customs Area Controller (CAC) of the unit, Dimka Victor David, who disclosed this at the weekend while briefing newsmen at the Customs warehouses in Owerri and Benin respectively said five suspects have been arrested in connection with the seizures.
David said that the seizures were made along Aba/Eleme axis and Agbor-Benin expressway barely one week after the unit impounded an illegally imported bullet-proof vehicle.
The comptroller also displayed seized 85 bales of second hand clothing with DPV of N8,160,000 and 1 40 foot container of 373 bales of used school bags with a DPV of N22,477,200 at the Customs warehouse in Owerri; while a total of 13 smuggled vehicles, all brand new models which include two bullet-proof Prado SUVs, nine Toyota Land cruiser and three Toyota Corolla cars with DPV of N285,242,000 were similarly showcased at the Benin Customs warehouse.
In addition, two trucks carrying a total of 1,220 bags of 50kg rice with DPV of N22,814,000 were impounded among other smuggled trucks with DPV of N110,187,000 and numerous cartons of imported frozen poultry products with DPV of 96,770,840 already destroyed.
According to David, the banned items secretly smuggled into the country, fell into the hands of the officers, who are still basking on operation “Quick fix”, a new policy unveiled by the former acting Comptroller-General of Customs, John Atteh to address the need of Customs to maximise revenue generation for the nation and also ensure a stronger, more oriented, vibrant and efficient Customs Service.
The Customs boss said while a good number of well meaning Nigerians are appreciative of government efforts to rid the nation of corruption in all its ramification, some smugglers are unrepentantly bent on circumventing the lofty mission for their selfish interest.
While enumerating the obvious consequences of smuggling to the nation’s economy, Dimka wondered why some individuals are still engrossed in the illicit act that has brought sorrows and grief to those caught and members of their families.
He therefore warned that the NCS will not relent in the discharge of its statutory duties until smugglers are brought to their knees and sent to penury.
He added that, the seized imported bags of rice neither have NAFDAC registration number nor date of expiration; and the frozen poultry products also seized were destroyed to spare innocent and unsuspecting consumers from possible death.
In his word “they are harmful, injurious and unfit for human consumption because the method of preservation is unknown and we have enough poultry here in the country that can feed the whole nation.
Source : SunOnline