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Customs Confiscates N252m Worth Of Smuggled Goods in Southern Nigeria

Ignatius Okpara, Owerri

The Nigerian Customs Service’s Federal Operations Unit, FOU Zone C, Owerri, has confiscated contraband goods worth N252 million in the last one month in the South- East and South- southern zones of the country.

Area Comptroller in charge of the zone, Dimka Victor David, who disclosed this to newsmen in Owerri, warned smugglers operating in the area to quit the illegal business, or be ready to face the full weight of the law if apprehended.

He said the Command was not only determined to seize all contraband goods but would also bring all culprits to book.

According to him, the FOU Zone ‘C’ recorded an unprecedented 37 seizures in the month of July within the South-East and South-South states of the Federation with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N252,126,800.

He hinted that 36 out of the 37 seizures recorded were various brands of vehicles like Toyota Highlander, Infinity SUV, Lexus SUV, Toyota Forerunner SUV, Sedans like BMW, Toyota Avalon, Toyota Corolla, among others.

The Comptroller further noted that the high number of seized vehicles was an indication of surge in the number of vehicles smuggled into the zone within the period under review.

Dimka recalled, “there was a similar increase of smuggling of various brands of assorted rice and imported poultry products about five months ago, but was effectively tackled and the smuggling reduced to the barest minimum”.

He indicated “The rave in imported frozen poultry products was noticed earlier in the year” adding that influx of imported furniture, second hand clothing, foreign detergents and footwear has been tackled headlong.

He however, described smugglers as die-hard criminals who always devise other means to ruin the nation’s economy with their illicit business, even as he maintained that the zone remains “a no-go area” for smugglers.

“Smugglers are now into smuggling of vehicles but I can assure you that we have all it takes to neutralize their antics and also ensure that those apprehended do not go free with the smuggled vehicles.

” I also want to assure Nigerians that those of us in the unit will neither fold our arms nor rest on our oars and watch the smugglers sabotage the nation’s economy.

“Hence, we have resolved that even the car dealers will subsequently be compelled to present the vehicle clearing documents in their shops.

“I wish to express the Command’s immense gratitude to the Comptroller-General of Customs, Alhaji Abdullahi Dikko Inde, for his sustained support to the unit,” .

Meanwhile, Dimka, pointed out that the support from the Customs high command had continued to spur officers of the unit to discharge their statutory duties of fighting smuggling satisfactorily.

He therefore, implored members of the public with useful information on smuggling to volunteer such to the unit to enable it flush out smugglers in its areas of jurisdiction.

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