The Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘C’ of the Nigeria Customs Service, Owerri, Imo State has seized contraband worth over N200 million within the Benin axis.
Comptroller Kayode Olusemire, FOU’s Zonal Controller, made this known during a news conference in Benin on Wednesday.
Olusemire said the seized goods included eight vehicles valued at N167 million, which were smuggled into the country through the land borders.
He also listed 1,572 bags of 50kg foreign parboiled rice with Duty Paid Value of approximately N32 million.
According to the controller, the amount included the DPV value of the various trucks used for smuggling the rice and the value of the 25 wraps of a substance suspected to be cannabis.
Olusemire said six suspects arrested during the operations, which took place between March 31 and May 22, had been granted administrative bail.
He said the Customs Service was poised to stamp out smuggling in spite of newer techniques being devised by perpetrators.
The controller, however, decried the die-hard attitude of smugglers in spite of the commitment of Customs officers.
“Smugglers now conceal rice in silos and Geepee tanks just to beat Customs officers but we are prepared and capable of protecting the economy and the country,” Olusemire said.
He said the Federal Government’s policy only allowed cars to be imported through the seaports for proper documentation.
He said: “The seized vehicles will be auctioned through the Customs Service’s e-auction network, which will commence next week.
“We urge the media to assist the service in sensitising the public on the ills and negative effects of smuggling on the economy.”