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Customs seizes 27 items worth over N1.9bn in 46 days

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By Abiodun OBA

 

At least 27 items worth over N1.9 billion have been seized by the anti-smuggling unit of the Federal Operations Unit Zone B of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Kaduna between January and February 16, 2024.

The Customs Comptroller of the unit, Wada Chedi, made the disclosure during a media briefing at the Kangiwa House in Kaduna on Friday.

In the reports published on the NCS official X handle on Monday, Chedi said, “During the period under review, the operatives of the unit made several seizures worth N1, 975,657,865.96 on only Duty Paid Value.

“The 27 different items ranged from used foreign shoes, foreign parboiled rice, second-hand clothing, expired milk and juice powder, among others.”

The Customs Comptroller added that the operatives also intercepted one truck conveying 179 Bags of Tiger Nuts (50kg each) based on intelligence along the Maigatari/Malamfatori/Birniwa axis of Jigawa State, on Wednesday, 24 January 2024 at about 10:00 pm.

“Furthermore, the unit equally halted three trucks along Gumel-Kano Road in Jigawa State on 3 February 2024. The seizure was made following information shared by the intelligence network of the NCS headquarters, Abuja on the suspicion that they were conveying prohibited items.

“Hundred per cent (100 per cent) physical examination was carried out at the premises of Kano/Jigawa Command and the three trucks were found to contain 5076 Cartons of Foreign soap, 703 bales of Foreign second-hand clothing, 925 cartons of macaroni, 320 bales of foreign textiles and 12 Jumbo sacks of foreign used shoes.”

Wada also disclosed that two suspects were arrested and detained at the Kano/Jigawa Command in connection with the confiscations and they have been granted administrative bail pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation.

According to him, “The officers of the unit while acting on reliable intelligence, on 11 February 2024, along Tsafe-Funtua Road in Zamfara, intercepted another one truck on the suspicion of inappropriate importation.

“More inspection further disclosed the truck was conveying 75 cartons of expired foreign jolly juice powder and 8 sacks of foreign expired milk powder was dated to have expired since 2019, thus, unfit for human consumption and would have caused mayhem to consumers alongside the society in general if not intercepted by our operatives. The expired milk was concealed with sacks of dried hides & skin.”

He said: “Other major items confiscated within the period under review according to customs boss are 237 Bags of Foreign Parboiled Rice (50kg each), 1837 cartons of foreign spaghetti, macaroni and couscous, 1707 jerry cans of Premium Motor Spirits (PMS) 25litres each, 3459 cartons/sachets of Amoxicillin, Artesunate, 500 Mg, 35 cartons of flame lighters, 2089 cartons of foreign dates, 142 cartons of YES Cigarettes, 810 pieces of foreign used tyres, many vehicles deposited at various Customs formations in the Zone, amongst others.

“According to information gathered during the briefing, the Foreign Dates and the Tiger-Nuts by their nature are edible and perishable goods, therefore, would be auctioned in line with the provisions of Paragraph 15 (b) of the Schedule of the Nigeria Customs Service Act No. 35, 2023.

“Most importantly, Comptroller Wada Chedi highlighted that these unparalleled seizures were made due to the infringement of several sections of the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023 and a breach of existent Presidential directives on border closure,” he added.

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