The Nigeria Customs Service Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘C’ Owerri has continued to live up to its responsibilities of tackling smuggling and generating revenue.
The Unit made seizures of 12 vehicles and 881 bags of rice, all with duty paid value of more than N385 million.
Comptroller Olusemire Kayode, the new Area Controller of the Unit, who made this known while showcasing seizures made by officers in the Benin axis, said the seizures were as a result of the hard work and diligence of officers of the Unit.
Showcasing the luxury cars, three among which are bulletproof, Kayode said the vehicles on interception did not have documentation and the appropriate permit from the National Security Adviser for importation of the bulletproof vehicles, hence their impoundment.
He advised importers of such cars to pay the appropriate duties and shun duty evasion.
Kayode said: “Most of these vehicles are worth millions of naira.
“If they can afford to buy these vehicles, they should not evade paying the duty.”
Kayode reassured that the Unit’s anti-smuggling operations will not go down under his watch and the antics of smugglers will be thwarted in the zone.
He also urged importers to acquaint themselves with extant laws governing trade in the country to avoid running afoul of the law.
Displaying some of the rice seized, Kayode gave details of consignment of rice concealed underneath heaps of banana in a truck.
He explained that officers were not in the habit of hindering local traders in their daily business.
However, the officers, acting on a tip off, checked the vehicle and discovered the infraction.
He sounded a note of warning to smugglers and urged Nigerians to support the local agricultural industry and buy locally produced rice.
He further stated that the ban of rice importation through land borders was still in force and urged the public to boost the agriculture sector and the economic well being of the country by patronising locally produced goods.
With inter-agency cooperation, the support of the media and the public the Comptroller is positive that smuggling will be brought to a bare minimum.
A breakdown of the seizures include:
. Range Rover Autobiography 2014 model with duty paid value of N76,423,500
. Toyota Land Cruiser Bullet proof 2016 model with duty paid value of N40,105,545
. Toyota Land cruiser Bullet proof 2014 model with duty paid value of N33,145,079
. Mercedes Benz G-wagon bullet proof 2017 model with duty paid value of N68,554,565
. Mercedes Benz GLE 450 2016 model with duty paid value of N26,032,239
. Toyota Rav 4 2014 model with duty paid value of N9,728,505
. Toyota Highlander 2017 model with duty paid value of N19,590,110
. Toyota Hilux 2017 model with duty paid value of N15,413,996
. Lexus ES350 2008 model with duty paid value of N4,510,391
. Toyota Corolla 2014 model with duty paid value of N7,229,250
. Ford Edge 2015 model with duty paid value of N16,835,891
. 741 Bags of 50Kg foreign rice with duty paid value of N18,969,600
. Ford Transit Bus carrying 100 Bags of 50Kg foreign rice with total DPV of N4,060,000
. Ford Transit Bus carrying 40 Bags of 50Kg foreign rice with total DPV of N2,524,000.