Segun Oladipupo |
The Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone C Of the Nigwria Customs Service (NCS) said it made several seizures with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N492m in the month of November 2019.
Addressing newsmen in Owerri on Wednesday, the Controller of the unit, Comptroller Olusemire Kayode gave the details of the seizures which included 1, 920 bags of 50kg foreign parboiled rice, two (2) 1×40 feet containers containing 612 chairs, one 1×40 feet container of 521 bales of second hand clothing, and another truck with 61 bales of second hand clothing concealed within.totalling 582 bales of second hand clothing.
Others included 1182 cartons of Analgin injections, 100 ampoules of 5ml 100×18 pieces totalling 180,000 ampoules, amongst others.
Speaking on the antics of the smugglers, Comptroller Olusemire declared that it was the duty of every well meaning Nigerian to volunteer information that will help stem the activities of smugglers in the nation.
“Some Nigerians are desperate and are in the habit of breaking the law. These acts are undermining our economy. People should not ruin the economy of the country because of the ill gains they hope to make in business.
“We have on display here so many items that are prohibited from entering this country. It is believed that the positive outcomes of the border drill exercise, the activities of the strike force and federal operation units would cause such people to have a rethink. Instead these smugglers come up with new ideas and new ways of smuggling. We will decimate their efforts and continue to advocate that the people involved should stop this business. We are sensitizing people to fully support the federal government in building the nation,” he said.
“Here we have a 1×40 feet container of second hand clothing. These clothing have been used by others and is an absolute prohibition not to be brought into this country under any guise. The importers concealed 521 bales in a container in a bid to evade detection.
“The medicament known as Analgin was found to be concealed in another container. This drug has been banned by the NAFDAC since 2005 because of its severe adverse effects. Someone still tried to bring it into the country. They concealed it with dutiable items and tried to bring it in.
“What will make someone bring in something detrimental to someone’s life? This is even worse than Tramadol because with Tramadol there are approved dosages one can take. But this has been banned globally because of its grave adverse effect to the body,” Comptroller said adding that the container was intercepted at Akpajo along Port Harcourt Owerri Road.
Speaking on the seizure of two containers of furniture Comptroller Olusemire explained that though furniture is dutiable but the importers falsely declared the consignment as pumps and valves to evade paying duties. This he said contravened Section 161 of the Customs and Excise Management Act.
“The fight and the war against smuggling of rice is not yet over, it still continues. Daily people struggle to bring in rice and we are prepared to deter them. We are informed of the rigorous efforts smugglers undertake to bring in rice and we are always ahead to stop them but we still wonder why they are insistent on bringing in rice. Some of the rice we intercepted are already expired. Some were concealed in a truck filled with granite, and in unsanitary conditions. We presently have the ongoing border drill operations, we have the strike force the federal operations unit, and we have the commands as lines of defence against smuggling activities in the nation. So people should desist from smuggling,” he advised.
“The service joins the federal government to advocate that Nigerians should produce what we eat and eat what we produce. The idea of depending on all things foreign should be discouraged. Our country is blessed with arable land for the cultivation of rice and any other crop we desire. Today with technology things can be planted in and out of season. Let us produce what we eat,” he declared.
He disclosed that six arrests were made and administrative bail has been granted to the suspects.
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