The Federal Operations Unit of the Nigeria Customs Service intercepted various contraband with a Duty Paid Value of N1.59 billion between November 1 to November 30.
The Customs Area Controller of the unit, Comptroller Garba Mohammed, said this when he conducted newsmen round Customs’ warehouses in Lagos on Wednesday.
According to Mohammed, a total of 185 items were intercepted within the period under review.
He said: “The command intercepted 64 units of various types of vehicles under detention; 13,333 bags of 50kg parboiled rice; 15 parcels of Indian hemp; 205 bales of second-hand clothing and 1,390 cartons of frozen poultry products.
“We intercepted 1,101 pieces of used tyres; 835 jerry cans of vegetable oil; 17 no. of 20ft containers suspected to be carrying wood under detention and 385 cartons of Tiffany cream biscuits.
“Also intercepted were: 2,300 cartons of Tiffany chocolate cream fudge and toffee sweet as well as 137 cartons of block engine cylinder.”
The controller said five suspects were apprehended along with the seizures, while one of the suspects had been released on administrative bail.
Mohammed said some 50kg bags of rice were intercepted and discovered to have been locally-produced.
He said the bags of rice were intercepted while being re-bagged to deceive Nigerians that the commodity was imported.
According to him, through Customs Intelligence, three bullet-proof jeeps were among the vehicles seized.
One of the suspects, Adams Oghenegare, a driver with GPC Truck Transport Company, said he was apprehended by the Customs at Otta, along Agbara area of Lagos.
Oghenegare said he loaded some 50kg bags of rice and used some cartons of Maggi to cover the consignment in order to deceive security agents.
The controller said some owners of the 57 vehicles intercepted in Omole Estate, Lagos by officers of the unit had not come forward for identification in order to pay the duty and to release their vehicles.
Mohammed said smuggled vehicles and rice through the land borders would attract outright seizure following the Federal Government’s directives.
He said importation of groundnut oil was prohibited through land or sea.
Mohammed commended the Comptroller-General of customs, retired Colonel Hameed Ali, and the entire management team for providing the necessary logistics that brought about this feat.
He also commended the media for their continued support and for using their medium in sensitising the public on the effects of smuggling on the nation’s economy.