The Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit zone ‘A’, has announced a significant seizure of contraband valued at N462 million in its latest operations, showcasing heightened efforts to combat smuggling activities.
The unit’s success comes as it continues to crack down on illegal trade across the region.
In a recent operation, the unit intercepted a cache of controlled goods, including 15 bulletproof jackets, 15 pieces of jack knives, and 20 pieces of pistol pouches, concealed within a Toyota Sienna Bus at the Ijebu-Ode Checkpoint in Ogun State.
According to the Acting Comptroller of the unit, Hussein Ejibunu, the vehicle’s driver was apprehended in connection with the seized contraband. He emphasized the requirement for an end-user certificate when importing bulletproof materials, a measure designed to ensure responsible and authorized usage.
“The importation of bulletproof materials, as well as military armaments and hardware, necessitates an end-user certificate issued by the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA). This certificate has a one-year validity, mandating importers to adhere to the stipulated timeframe,” said Ejibunu.
During the unit’s monthly briefing, Ejibunu highlighted the commitment of officers to their duty and unwavering adherence to Customs laws. Notably, the seizure list included 5,642 bags of foreign parboiled rice, 757 jerry cans of premium motor spirit, and other items such as pistol pouches, bulletproof jackets, and jack knives.
The total duty paid value of the confiscated items amounted to N462,708,875, signaling a significant blow to illicit trade activities. Additionally, the unit recovered N66,493,346.41 in revenue by issuing demand notices on Customs duties found to be underpaid.
The successful operations led to the arrest of 13 suspects connected to some of the seizures, who are currently undergoing investigation and prosecution. Furthermore, three suspects were apprehended along with 7,728 kilograms of cannabis sativa, which were subsequently handed over to officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Lagos State Command.
Ejibunu expressed appreciation for the support provided by the Ag. Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi emphasizing the importance of well-equipped logistics in enhancing the unit’s performance.
While celebrating the unit’s accomplishments, Ejibunu cautioned smugglers against their illicit activities, highlighting the potential negative impact on the national economy and living standards. The operations serve as a reminder of the customs unit’s commitment to ensuring compliance and safeguarding Nigeria’s economic interests.
(Edited by Oludare Mayowa; email@example.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)