Customs intercepts smuggled poultry products, N12.7bn worth of contraband
The Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), has intercepted a vehicle with COVID-19 sticker used to smuggled frozen chicken from Benin Republic into the country.
The Customs Area Controller (CAC) of the unit, Usman Yahaya, disclosed this in a statement by the Public Relations Officer, Mr Jerry Attah, in Lagos on Tuesday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the FOU A is the anti-smuggling arm of the Nigeria Customs Service, and it is saddled with the responsibility of suppressing smuggling in the six states of the South-West.
The area controller said that its officers intercepted the vehicle, which was travelling under the guise of essential duty, smuggling cartons of frozen chicken into the country from Benin Republic.
He said that the vehicle was arrested along Ijebu-Ode Expressway.
“The vehicle was intercepted based on intelligence and the eagle eye of officers who were on routine patrol at the axis.
The officers were professional enough to intercept the vehicle, which was believed to be used in the movement of essential commodities, but were surprised to see that it was used for illegal activities such as movement of contraband.
“We have arrested the vehicle and investigation has commenced to get to the root and unravel other atrocities that may have been committed using the essential duty tag,” the controller said.
However, speaking on the activities of the command in the first quarter of the year, the CAC said contraband worth N12.7 billion were intercepted from smugglers between January to April 2020.
According to him, the unit paid N1.14 billion into the Federal Government’s Treasury Single Account from Debit Notes (DN) on intercepted containers from Lagos Seaports, voluntary payment of customs duty on vehicles, auction sales from PMS among others.
Giving a breakdown of the seizures, Yahaya said that 25 units of fairly used vehicles worth N108 million, 5,644 cartons of frozen chicken worth N54.1 million were intercepted in the first quarter of the year.
Others, he listed as: 9,843 bags of 50kg smuggled parboiled rice worth N130.4 million and sacks of textile materials worth N94 million were all seized in the period under review.
The FOU boss added that N14 million worth of used tyres, 3,764 kegs of smuggled vegetables oil worth N69.2 million, and 8,365 litres of smuggled Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as Petrol and Diesel also known as AGO worth N35 million were seized.
He said that the unit would not relent on its anti-smuggling fight, especially at this time when the government was preaching diversification into the agricultural sector due to the fall in price of oil in the international market.
“We will ensure that smuggling is reduced to the barest minimum and we will not allow it to fester as that can be injurious to our economy and wellbeing as a country,” Yahaya said.