Customs’ strike force intercepts 6,102 bags of rice, others worth N460 million

The Comptroller-General’s Strike Force team of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted various items, including 6,102 bags (over 10 trailers) of 50kg foreign parboiled rice) with an approximate Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N460.8 million in the first quarter of the year.

The items, which were traced to false declaration and outright prohibition, are currently on administrative bail, awaiting prosecution, while more seizures were still being examined as at press time.

While parading the items in Lagos, National Coordinator of the Strike Force, Deputy Comptroller Abdullahi Kirawa, said the seizures were made within the South-Western Nigeria, between January 1 and March 30, 2019 in Zone A.

He said four suspects have been arrested in connection with the seizures, and are currently under investigations.

Other items paraded includes: 304 cartons x 150 packets of imitation jewelry worth N36.5 million (declared as bead mold); a unit each of Toyota Avalon (N2.5 million); MAN Diesel truck (N8.5 million); 1698 pieces of used tyres (N8.5 million); 952 cartons of rubber footwear; and 140 cartons of rubber soles worth N13.4 million.

There were also 400 cartons of HP Desktop and Monitor worth N55.4 million; 562×50 bags of 1kg Indian Rice; 50 bags x 50pcs of 1kg salt worth N59.9 million; bales of new and old jeans trousers; shirts, ladies’ gowns; belts and handbags; and bales of upholstery materials; among others.

Kirawa lamented that importers lose millions of naira to outright seizure of non-contrabands simply over false declaration, rather than honest declaration and payment of right duties.

He urged importers to pay the right duties, saying: “by paying the right duties we are not only helping ourselves but others by ensuring job creation and employment for our teeming youths; curbing of crime, and government gets the required revenue to pursue its programmes,”

According to him, the pirated jewelries were “not contraband but can be imported if you pay the correct duty. It was seized because its importation is contrary to section 46 of CEMA; apart from being containerised, there is concealment and the entry made was wrong.

“What is in here is imitation jewelries while the entry made to the customs is mixed bead mold. The two are quite different, therefore, the person did this to evade payment of the correct duty and therefore, it is liable to seizure.”

He urged all citizens to engage in meaningful ventures, and collaborate with the agency to keep the country safe and ensure that the due revenue accruable to the government is collected.

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Nigeria Customs Service
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