Customs impounds N379m worth Indian hemp imported from Ghana


Customs intercepts codeine, cannabis worth N1.175bn

The Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service has intercepted 3,792 parcels of Indian hemp of worth N379.2 million and smuggled into the country from Ghana.

Addressing newsmen in Lagos on Tuesday, Controller of the unit, Comptroller Aliyu Muhammed said the drugs were seized along the borders of Idiroko and Oyo axis with two suspects arrested.

Aliyu, who described the seizure as “special”, said it was one of the largest so far made in the history of the unit and was achieved as a result of his officers diligence and uncompromising stance against smuggling of hard drugs.

He said, “I look at this seizure as a gift for Nigeria because if our officers will not compromise and will be in the sun and rain to bring this type of seizure not because they are going to smoke it but the effect that will cause Nigerians by those who will take it.

“The responsibility of Customs is not only for revenue generation, it is also concerned about the health of Nigerians. You can imagine the danger on somebody taking this; either robbery or kidnapping. If you leave this kind of seizures for thugs going for campaign, we don’t know how many atrocities they are going to commit.”

He said the command also intercepted 39,664 bags of smuggled rice amounting to 66 trailers along the creeks and 34 units of vehicles.

Other seizures include 2,887kg of vegetable oil; 2,520 pieces of textiles; five 20 feet containers of unprocessed wood; 1,439 used tyres; 2,837 cartons of poultry products; 180 pieces of compressor and 710 cartons of tramadol.

The items, which were seized at different locations within the last four months, according to him, are worth N2.7 billion.
Also giving report of the Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service activities, the Customs Area Controller (CAC) of the Unit, Abubakar Mohammed said it has made a seizure of close to three billion naira contraband within the zone in one month.
He disclosed to journalists while conducting them round the seized items in Lagos, yesterday that 34 units of vehicles of different brands worth N784, 411, 452.00; 710 cartons of Tramadol valued at N808, 000, 000.00 were among the myriads of seizures made within the period.
Other items that made up the seizure included 39,664 bags of rice worth N525,639,228; 2,887kg of vegetable oil with N31,179,600 DPV; 2,520pieces of textiles valued at NN30,240,000; 5×20ft of unprocessed wood valued at N30,000,000 and 1,439 pieces of used tyres worth N11,655,900.
Others are; 2,837 cartons of poultry valued at N23,830,808; 180 pieces of compressors valued at N,6,480,000 and 17 sacks of pangolin scale with DPV of N115,668,000.
The Controller however noted that between August 17 and December 10, 2018, the unit had made seizures of various items with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N5.1 billion.
According to him, the proactive steps of enforcement are truly achieving the desired results and policy of the Federal Government in sustaining agriculture and self-sufficiency in food production, revamping the economic recovery plan, protecting national security, among other virtues.
His words, “The non-compliance of stakeholders who chose to negate and abuse these procedures will always fall victims of FOU sanctions that have zero tolerance to deliberate infractions.
“The greatest New Year gift the Nigeria Customs Service (FOU Zone A) is offering Nigerians is the modest contribution of sacrifice that officers and men go through to combat the menace of these illicit substances.”
He viewed that the Unit would not relent on its efforts until there was a total compliance that would translate to effective revenue generation, suppression of smuggling, facilitation of legitimate trade and protecting Nigeria’s national security.

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