First Quarter Report: Goods Worth Over ₦1.2bn Seized In Imo

A file photo of Customs operatives.

 

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.

READ ALSO: Toshiba CEO Resigns As Buyout Offer Stirs Turmoil

“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.

Customs Arrest Three Smugglers, Intercept Contrabands Worth N786m

The unit coordinator, DC Oseni Olarukoba with other officers display the seized items.

 

Officers and Men attached to the Zone ‘B’ Strike Force Team of the Nigeria Customs Service have arrested three smugglers and intercepted contraband with a duty paid value of N786,911,648 across the northern region.

The unit coordinator, DC Oseni Olarukoba disclosed this on Friday during a press briefing held at the Katsina State Command headquarters of the Nigeria Customs Service.

He described the success recorded as part of their sustained execution of the Comptroller General’s directive to stamp out smuggling activities within the zone.

The unit coordinator, DC Oseni Olarukoba with other officers display the seized items.

 

The contraband he explained, were intercepted within the long stretched borders of the Northern States which covers the Far North-East, North-West and North Central parts of the country.

READ ALSO: Ekiti Monarch Hospitalised After Gumen Attack

Olorukoba while taking journalists round to some of the seized items in display noted that 16 assorted items were seized within the period under review across Kano, Katsina, Kaduna, Kebbi, Sokoto and the North Eastern States of Borno, Yobe, Bauchi, Adamawa and Taraba.

He further stressed more community collaboration from the border communities especially information sharing and supply about the activities and movements of smugglers to get it right.

The unit coordinator, DC Oseni Olarukoba with other officers during the display of the seized items.

“Smuggling kills the business of the local farmers. So that’s why we arrest them in order to serve as deterrent to others for them to desist from the business, because they are savatoirs of the country’s economy.

“We have a challenge of information among our stakeholders and we, therefore, need strong community collaboration,” Olarukoba said.

The items seized from January 2021 to date include among others; 1,540 bags of 50kg of foreign parboiled rice, 4,857 cartons of foreign tomato, 410 cartons of foreign Macaroni, 294 bales of second-hand clothes, 307 cartons of foreign shoes, 1,527 cartons of foreign soap, six units of vehicles and three units of trucks.

Other items seized are 458 cartons of spaghetti, 29 bags of 50kg each of foreign sugar, 249 cartons of condensed milk, 60 cartons of coucous, 100 pieces each of realms and tyres, three bags of 50kg each of calcium chloride, 8,575 litres of vegetable oil and 57 cartons of cartons bleaching cream.

Customs Arrests Five Immigrants With Weapons

 

Barely three weeks after five illegal immigrants were arrested, another five have been arrested but this time around with weapons.

This was disclosed by the coordinator of the joint border patrol team, north-central zone, Comptroller Olugboyega Peters while briefing newsmen on the recent seizures made by his team.

The coordinator says five illegal immigrants were arrested along Lokoja-Abuja federal highway by the operatives of the joint border patrol team, north-central zone three weeks ago.

This week, another five were arrested with weapons but have been handed over to the Nigerian police and immigration service.

The team also made forty-three seizures in less than three weeks with a duty-paid value of N60million.

The seizures include a convoy of thirteen pick-up vans used in smuggling 1,040 bags of banned foreign parboiled rice, with duty paid value of nineteen million naira.

Comptroller Olugboyega Peters says the essence of the activities of the team is not meant to witch hunt anybody but for the economic benefit of Nigeria and Nigerians.

Reps Call For Review Of Presidential Order On Vehicle Importation Through Land Borders

 

A member of the House of Representatives Committee on Customs, Femi Adebanjo, is calling for a review of the presidential order, against the importation of vehicles through the land borders.

The lawmaker says this will increase revenue for Customs while alleging that vehicles are still being smuggled into the country.

He stated this during the budget defence session of the Nigeria Customs Service, before the House Committee on Customs and Excise.

The committee is placing emphasis on the need to increase the manpower of the Customs to effectively man the nation’s borders.

Customs CG, Hammed Ali

 

The Comptroller General of the Nigeria of the Service, Hameed Ali, is appealing for 135 scanners which will be deployed to the Customs for nations across the country.

He expresses worry that officers are constantly being attacked across the country.

The CG is further calling for the education of residents at the borders, who he says, are oblivious that smuggling is a crime.

Customs Seize Smuggled Goods Worth Over N116million In Kaduna

 

The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) Federal Operation Unit (FOU) Zone ‘B’ says it has seized various smuggled contraband goods with Duty Paid Value (DPV) worth over N116 million in the last two weeks.

The Comptroller of the FOU Zone ‘B’, Kaduna, Al-Bashir Hamisu made the disclosure on Thursday in Kaduna while briefing newsmen on the zone’s activities for the period under review.

Hamisu disclosed that the seizures were made within Kaduna, Kebbi, and Zamfara states.

Customs seize smuggled goods in Kaduna

He explains that his men seized a total of ninety smuggled items from smugglers including 905 bags of foreign rice, 541 Jerry cans of foreign vegetable oil, 138 bales of foreign second-hand clothes, two used vehicles, 30 cartons of foreign tiger battery, and many other contraband items.

He further disclosed that some of the seizures were made by his men through intelligence information about the nefarious activities of the smugglers, adding that the arrested suspects would be prosecuted on completion of the ongoing investigation.

Some of the seized goods

 

Mr. Hamisu noted that the war against smuggling is on course, warning those involved in the act to prepare to face the worst as the Nigerian Customs Service is committed to rid the country of smugglers.

Customs Intercepts Items Worth N79m In Katsina

Officers of the Katsina Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service have intercepted goods worth N79,757,100.

The items seized form part of the achievements recorded from the month of January 8th, 2021 to date.

READ ALSO: Minimum Wage: NLC Stages Nationwide Protest

Customs Area Comptroller in the state, Adewale Musa Aremu at a press briefing lamented that the border communities are not helping the officers in their operations instead they are making the operations highly difficult across all the entry points.

He pledged to continue to be on the smugglers’ neck in effort to stop smuggling across the state, assuring readiness to deal decisively with smugglers in the state.

Items seized according to Aremu include one DAF Tanker with registration number KWL 427 TH with a Duty Paid Value of N13,500,000, one DAF Trailer blue in color with DPV of N12,150,000, one used Honda Accord 2017 model with registration number LSD 442 GK with DPV of N8,100,000, 367 bales of second-hand clothing with a DPV of N30,828,000 and 470 bags of 50 kilograms each of foreign rice with a DPV of N8,272,000 as well as166 Jerry cans of 25 litres each of vegetable oil with a DPV of N1,826,000.

Other items seized include 321 cartons of foreign spaghetti with a DPV of N963,000, 97 cartons of foreign couscous with a DPV of N291,000, 187 bags of 50 kilograms each of foreign sugar with a DPV of N2,721,600, 110 cartons of foreign macaroni with a DPV of 330,000 and 65 cartons of foreign milky creamer with a DPV of 702,000 as well as 14 cartons of clinical plaster with a DPV of N73,500.

It could be recalled that during the last briefing held on February 8th, 2021, the command said it has arrested and detained five suspected smugglers in the state.

The suspects include four young men that followed a petroleum tanker vehicle concealed with bags of foreign parboiled rice along with a man who eventually came claiming ownership of the vehicle.

In the process, items worth over N32 million were seized.

VIDEO: How Customs Operatives Offered Bandits Bags Of Rice For Safety – Official

A senior official of the Nigeria Customs Service has explained how operatives offered bandits seven bags of seized rice to save themselves from the criminals.

Comptroller Aliyu Mohammed, who is the Coordinator of the Sector 4 Command of the Joint Border Patrol Team in the North West, narrated how the incident occurred during a press briefing on Tuesday in Katsina State.

He told reporters that the operatives had to offer seven bags of rice to the bandits who he said were operating in Dutsinma Local Government Area of the state.

Mohammed explained that operatives had entered the bush where the bandits were taking shelter, saying that was the same route that smugglers used to bring contrabands into the country.

“We (the operatives) seized 37 bags of rice and the bandits asked for seven bags before allowing them to pass and save their lives.

“So, you see the risk we take but people, especially those living along the border communities engaged in attacking our officers,” he decried.

The comptroller noted that the sector has intercepted contrabands with a duty-paid value of over N304,325,850.90 and arrested four smugglers in Katsina State from February 1 to date.

He called on the residents to always check the expiry date of any product before use, as well as supporting the customs in their resolve to curb the activities of smugglers in the region.

Some of the bags of rice seized by customs operatives in the North West. Inset: A signpost of the Headquarters of Operation Swift Response in the North West.

 

Other items seized within the period include 1,021 bags of foreign parboiled rice of 50kg, 28,830 litres of petrol, a Toyota Corolla 2020 model, and a Toyota Camry 2016 model, as well as 200 bags of dates of 100kg.

Channels Television had reported on February 2 that items with a duty paid value of N152.866 million were intercepted by the Joint Border Patrol Team in Katsina.

Mohammed had advised residents living around the border to desist from accommodating smugglers and their illegally smuggled items.

He threatened to use Section 8 of the Customs and Exile Management Act (CEMA) to expose all items deposited in various warehouses suspected to have been smuggled into the country.

The customs official had also warned traditional leaders, particularly in Kebbi State to desist from mobilising hooligans to attack the security operatives.

He lamented that a lot of customs personnel were killed, and others injured last year while carrying out their official assignments.

Customs Intercept Illegal Drugs Worth N819m In Imo

 

The Nigeria Customs Service Federal Operations Unit Zone C Owerri has intercepted 1,024 cartons of contraband drugs with duty paid value of N819 million.

According to the Area controller of customs FOU Zone C, Yusuf Lawal, the drugs which were Intercepted along Ofosu-Benin expressway were identified as Colcaps Medicament, illegally shipped into the country from India without NAFDAC certification.

While also displaying some other seized items like bags of foreign rice, vehicles and second-hand clothing, Controller Lawal said the men of the Nigeria Customs Service FOU Zone C are readily prepared to fight the menace of smuggling in the zone.

He advised smugglers to look for other means of livelihood and desist from economic sabotage.

Customs Impounds ₦2.3bn Worth Of Prohibited Goods In Ogun

Nigeria-Customs-Service-headquater-in-Abuja
File photo of Nigeria Customs Service office in Abuja.

 

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Area 1 Command, says contraband goods with duty paid value of over ₦2.3 billion were intercepted at illegal entry points across birder communities in Ogun State, southwest Nigeria

This was disclosed by the Area Comptroller of Customs, Peter Kolo during a press briefing held in Idiroko border while highlighting the activities of the command for the year 2020 fiscal year

The items seized include prohibited drugs, 79 trailers of banned imported rice,512 vehicles, vegetable oil, petroleum products,1,382 cartons of frozen poultry products,21 bails of second-hand clothing.

READ ALSO: FG Suspends Emirates Flights From Nigeria

He said that effective community engagement and management remain the panaceas to reducing economic sabotage in the country.

He maintained that the current incessant attacks on men and officers will not deter them from performing their constitutional responsibility of enforcing compliance with government fiscal policies at the borders.

One Killed, Seven Injured As Suspected Smugglers Clash With Customs In Ogun

Man Killed As Customs Officials Raid Ogun Community
A file photo of Customs operatives.

 

One person has been confirmed dead while seven others sustained injuries when operatives of the Nigerian Customs Service clashed with suspected smugglers along Sagamu Interchange/Abeokuta expressway in Ogun State.

Among those who sustained bullet, injuries are three Customs officers and a soldier.

It was gathered that the rice traders who were conveying imported rice to Samagu from Abeokuta ran into Customs operatives from the Federal Operations Unit Ikeja, who intercepted the product.

There was said to be resistance from some hoodlums allegedly working with the suspected smugglers, leading to a crossfire with the security operatives.

Channels Television learned that the Customs operatives had called for reinforcement with some soldiers who joined them in their operation.

According to an eyewitness, those involved are not smugglers but rice sellers.

“We buy rice from Abeokuta here and sell it to our customers in Sagamu. Whenever we get our goods from here and when we see Customs on the road, we normally do bookings with them,” he claimed.

“But to my surprise this morning, after doing the booking, on our way going after Siun junction, another set of Customs intercepted our goods from the same office, Federal Operations Union (FOU).

“We were like ‘what happened? We met your people over there. What happened? They called soldiers for backup. Soldiers squat on the road and started shooting. Four people were injured.”

When contacted, the spokesman of the Federal Operations Unit, Theophilus Duniya, described the development as a mob attack on the customs officers by hoodlums who he said were working with smugglers.

According to him, the operatives acting on intelligence intercepted six vehicles laden with foreign parboiled rice at Abeokuta Expressway this morning.

“Upon the interception, some armed hoodlums working with smugglers swiftly mobilized themselves and attacked our officers in their bid to prevent the seizure from being taken away. However, in the crossfire that ensued, our operatives overpowered them and were able to evacuate three out of the intercepted vehicles to the warehouse,” he said.

READ ALSO: Ondo Doctors Embark On Indefinite Strike

Duniya said three Customs officers and a soldier sustained some bullet injuries from the attack, however kept mum on the death recorded.

He said the injured officers were currently receiving treatment at the Customs facility, adding that investigation had commenced into the attack.

“The Ag. Controller is very concerned about the injuries inflicted on the officers which were totally avoidable if only the youths were patriotic enough to know that the officers were just performing their lawful duties.

“DC Usman Yahaya, while thanking the law-abiding citizens for supporting their operations, also warned people with criminal intentions to immediately desist from such because officers/men of the Unit are well mobilized, backed up by the extant laws and shall remain resolute at enforcing the laws without fear of intimidation,” Duniya added.

He also cautioned the youths to reject being used by economic saboteurs to confront operatives of the service from carrying out their lawful duties.

Meanwhile, angry rice traders mobilised and stormed the governor’s office in Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, in protest against the attack.

They demanded urgent intervention of the government to curb incessant attacks by the Customs.

The secretary to the State Government, Tokunbo Talabi, who addressed them assured of immediate interface with relevant authorities to end such occurrence in the state.

He also assured that the medical bills of the 4 victims will be taken care of by the state government.

Nigeria Customs Service Generates ₦1.5trn In 2020

Man Killed As Customs Officials Raid Ogun Community
A file photo of Customs operatives.

 

The Nigeria Customs Service has generated the sum of ₦1,562,115,419,216 for the year 2020.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Public Relations Officer of the service, Joseph Attah, said the generated revenue was over the target of ₦1,380,765,353,462 and over the sum of ₦1,342,006,918,504 generated in 2019 despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the statement, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, attributed the feat to what he described as a result of the resolute pursuit of what was right and the willingness to adapt to changes brought about by global health challenges occasioned by COVID-19.

The NCS spokesman said the agency’s revenue generation profile had continued to be on the rise annually based on the ongoing reforms in the service.

He noted that the partial border closure which forced cargoes that could have been smuggled through the porous borders to come through the sea and airports raised revenue collection from ports.

“Before the commencement of the border drill on August 20, 2019, revenue generation was between N4bn to N5bn but now NCS generates between N5bn to N9bn daily,” the statement partly read.

READ ALSO: Be Courageous To Handover Power In 2023, Wike Tells APC

“Diplomatic engagements that took place during the partial land border closure yielded many positive results, including the commitment to comply with the ECOWAS protocol on transit operationalisation of joint border patrols at both sides of the border.”

SEE FULL STATEMENT HERE:

PRESS STATEMENT

Nigeria Customs Service generated the sum of N1,562,115,419,216.32 for the year 2020. Amount generated is over the target of N1,380,765,353,462.00 over the sum of N1,342,006,918,504.55 generated in 2019 despite the covid-19 pandemic.

Commenting on this feat, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col, Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) described it as a result of the resolute pursuit of what is right and willingness to adapt to changes brought about by global health challenges occasioned by covid-19.

The service revenue generation profile has continued to be on the rise annually as the ongoing reforms in the Service insist on:

Strategic deployment of officers strictly using the standard operating procedure.

Strict enforcement of extant guidelines by the tariff and trade department.

Automation of the Customs process thereby eliminating vices associated with the manual process.

Robust stakeholder sensitization resulting in more informed/voluntary compliance.

Increased disposition of officers and men to put national interest above selves.

The partial border closure which has forced cargoes that could have been smuggled through the porous borders to come through the sea and airports raised revenue collection from ports.

Before the commencement of the border drill on 20th August 2019, revenue generation was between N4 billion to N5 billion but now NCS generate between N5 billion to N9 billion daily.

Diplomatic engagements that took place during the partial land border closure yielded many positive results, including a commitment to comply with the ECOWAS Protocol on Transit. Operationalization of joint border patrols at both sides of the border.

The teams are required to share intelligence and ensure prevention of transit of prohibited goods into the neighbour’s territory. Accordingly Service wishes to express its readiness to strictly implement the outcome of the diplomatic engagements as the land borders open for movement of cargoes.

Intelligence gathered during the period and the introduction of the e-Customs whose components include installation of scanners at all entry points will enhance border security and boost national trade facilitation.

Already Ministry of Finance has purchased three (3) new Scanners. Interestingly, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has also expressed commitment to purchasing four (4) Scanners and establish the control center for monitoring all scanning sites in their bid to boost the national economy, especially the agricultural sector. This means that within the next six (6) months, NCS will have about seven (7) functional Scanners to be mounted at strategic entry points even before the full deployment of e-Customs components which will see to the deployment of 135 modern Scanners.

NCS appreciates and commends the leadership of CBN for this strategic intervention in the interest of the nation.

In the same vein, the Service efforts to prevent the entry of items that could compromise the Security of our citizens, Economy and the well-being of our people resulted in the seizures of 4,304 assorted items with a duty paid value of N28,287,285,847.52.

These seizures include arms, ammunition, illicit drugs, used clothing, vegetable oil, frozen poultry and foreign rice among others that have grave consequences on the economic security and well-being of Nigerians.

While we give assurances of total commitment to the course of protecting national security and economy, we call on Nigerians, especially the business community to support the NCS as our borders open to African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) in order to benefit from the trade agreement and other cross border activities.

Signed:

DC, Joseph Attah

Public Relations Officer

VIDEO: Customs Seize 73 Locally Made Guns, 891 Cartridges In Kebbi


The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted a truck conveying 73 locally manufactured guns and 891 cartridges in Kebbi State.

NCS Public Relations Officer, Joseph Attah, who disclosed this in a statement on Sunday said the feat was recorded by operatives of the Federal Operation Unit, Zone B.

He explained that the operatives were on information patrol along Yauri in the Zamare waterside area of Kebbi when they intercepted a truck loaded with locally produced rice with some sacks concealed under the rice.

A combination of photos released by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on December 14, 2020, shows arms and ammunition seized in Kebbi State.

 

“Upon careful examination, the bags were found to contain 73 locally manufactured guns and 891 cartridges,” Attah noted.

According to him, three persons were immediately arrested and detained by the operatives while a preliminary investigation is ongoing.

A photo released by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on December 14, 2020, shows two of the three suspects arrested in Kebbi State.

 

In his reaction, the Controller of FOU, Zone B, Hamisu Albashir, described the feat as a signal to all those who may be planning to smuggle harmful items into the country through the zone.

He called on the people, especially those living in border communities to provide credible information for effective border security.

See more photos below: