The Federal Operations Unit (Zone C) of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), has seized contraband items valued over ₦1.2 billion in Owerri, the Imo State capital.
Briefing journalists in the state on Wednesday, the Customs Area Controller (CAC), Comptroller Yusuf Lawal, said the seizure was made from January to March.
The items which included foreign parboiled rice, frozen poultry products, drugs, second-hand clothing, live ammunition, soaps, exotic cars, were intercepted in states of the South-South and South-East, which covers Zone C.
“Following our anti-smuggling drives, between January to March 2021, we have intercepted various contraband within our areas of jurisdiction which covers South-South/South-East zones with a duty paid value of ₦1,280,885,011,” he said.
“Also, based on our intervention we recovered the sum of ₦7,557,731, from demand notices raised, making a cumulative sum of ₦1,288,442,742. within the months under review.
“The detained and seized items include 2,976 bags of 50kg foreign parboiled rice, 1,024 cartons of Colcaps medicament without NAFDAC certification, 290 cartons of Foreign Eva Soap, 204 Cartons of Foreign Tomatoes Paste, 130 Jumbo bales of used clothing, 5,200 live ammunition cartridges, six exotic vehicles; one Toyota land cruiser bulletproof 2019 model without End User Certificate from NSA, one Toyota Hilux 2020 model, one Toyota Corolla 2018 model, among others.”
According to Comptroller Lawal, the feat would not have been possible without the logistics support from the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col Hameed Ali (Rtd), and the entire Customs management.
He also solicited more cooperation from media practitioners and Nigerians generally in the fight against smuggling in the country.
“I urge all well-meaning Nigerians to support the Service in the fight against smuggling by providing credible and timely intelligence that will help the Unit reduce smuggling to its barest minimum as we hope to improve more in the second quarter by intensifying our surveillance,” he added.