The Federal Operations Unit, Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service has raised Debit Notes on imports worth N17 billion between January and June 2020.
The Acting Customs Area Controller of the unit, Usman Yahaya, made this known in a statement on Sunday.
According to Yahaya, N15.6 billion was generated from contraband seized from smugglers, while N1.4 billion were raised from wrong classification, transfer of value and false declaration of cargoes.
He added that contraband intercepted by the unit were from smugglers terrorising the South Western states of the country and included used vehicles, pharmaceuticals, textiles, foreign parboiled rice, tomato paste and second hand clothing.
He noted that the Debit Notes were raised on importers who under-declared their cargoes for lesser Customs duty.
Yahaya said: “The total Duty Paid Value of N15.6 billion were premised on seized contraband while the N1.3 billion were revenue from the unit interventions arising from wrong classifications, transfer of value and false declarations by importers.
“So, a total of N17 billion was recovered for the Federal Government in the period under review.”
He noted that the unit also intercepted a truck load of banned textile materials worth N565 million imported from Benin Republic.
He said 18,760 bags of foreign parboiled rice were smuggled into the country from Benin Republic and 64 units of exotic vehicles were intercepted and detained for duty evasion and under payment.
Yahaya said: “From January 7, 64 exotic vehicles including two bullet proofs cars, 18,760 bags of 50kg of foreign parboiled rice valued at N469 million; 1,338kg of Indian hemp worth N201 million and 147 sacks (9,504kg) of Pangolin scales worth N10.4 billion.
“Others are 3,059 cartons of tomato paste, 10,653 cartons of frozen poultry products, 5,423 kegs of 25 litres 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 and 11,077 cartons of frozen products worth N177 million.
“Also intercepted are 5,423 kegs of vegetable oil valued at N87 million, 7,549 jerry cans of Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) valued at N27 million, five containers of pharmaceutical valued at N2.9 billion, 64 units of motorcycles used for smuggling valued at N565 million, among others.”
Yahaya, however, warned smugglers to embrace legitimate business as the unit was ready to send them out of illegitimate business.
He also disclosed that the seizure was borne out of intelligence and hard work of eagle-eye officers of the unit.
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 and we are always a step ahead of them through intelligence gathering and steadfastness.
“We will not get tired until the service suppressed smuggling finally from the South-West.”