The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone C “Owerri” has disclosed that it made a total of 70 seizures with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N663,089,296 for the months of January, February and March this year as against the sum of N650,561,172 recorded for the year 2015.
The Comptroller in charge of the unit, Mr. Haruna Mmamudu, who disclosed this to newsmen at the premises of the Nigeria Customs service in Owerri where he exposed the items and the trucks impounded along with them said that while the under payment recovered stood at N214,959,353,34 suspects were arrested in connection with the shady deal within the period in question.
According to Haruna, 18 cases arising from the seizures are now pending in court.
He listed the contraband goods confiscated to include: 44 vehicles, 380 cartons of article of plastics, 1656 pieces of used tyres; 3,614 cartons of imported frozen poultry products as well as 818 cartons of foreign soap/detergents.
Others were: 181 bales of textile fabrics, 737 pieces of bags/suitcases and 85 bundles of footwear as well as 120 packages of furniture and 906 cartons of unregistered drugs all of which were seized on the Benin Axis, Agbor, Onitsha-Asaba, Owerri, Calabar and Aba/Eleme Axis.
Aside this, the Customs Unit Area Comptroller said that over 19 trucks of 50kg Rice also impounded by his men had been detained for proper and thorough investigation.
He boasted that there are no more hiding places for smugglers in the country as men of the NCS are now more than ever ready to dislodge them where they are.
“Our men are now better trained, well equipped and motivated to deal with the nefarious activities of smugglers that have continued to inflict a devastating blow on the nation’s economy”.
Haruna added that the crusade against smugglers, their agents and collaborators had been intensified and would be pursued with stronger vigour until the battle is won.
He therefore advised those still trapped in the illicit business of smuggling to desist forthwith in their own interest, just as he appealed to members of the public with useful information about smugglers to always make such information available to his men or to other sister agencies for prompt action.