The Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit, Zone A, Ikeja has disclosed that it intercepted 11 imported used vehicles and other contraband worth N854m in January.
The Customs Area Controller in charge of the command, Hussein Ejibunu, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday.
He said that during the period under review, the command recorded a total of 60 seizures, comprising different contraband.
Smuggling is a crime that involves false declaration and concealment of goods, the use of unapproved routes and ports for the exportation or importation of goods, forging of customs documents, willful under-payment of customs duties, and trafficking in prohibited or restricted goods among others.
In 2023, FOU Zone A said it made 1,119 different seizures, 136 arrests, and 16 convictions, adding that the 1,119 seizures had a total duty paid value of N10bn.
Ejibunnu also said that in the first month of this year, 10 suspects were arrested in connection with the various seizures.
“Other items seized included 3,653 bags of foreign parboiled rice, 50kg each equivalent to 6.5 trailer loads, 23,025 litres of petroleum motor spirit, 241 bales of used clothes and 1,490 kg of Indian hemp,” he stated.
According to Ejibunnu, other items seized were 1,220 cartons of foreign tomato paste, 983 pieces of used tyres, 104 units of Haojuo motorcycles, 556 cartons of slippers and 11 units of used vehicles.
The CAC added that the status of those goods was found to have contravened different sections of the Customs Act (2023), “while some were expired at the time of importation; others flaunted the import statutory guidelines”.
He added during the period under review, N83m was generated through documentary checks and issuance of demand notices on consignments that were found to have been short-paid.
“The general public is encouraged to be aware of the consequences of smuggling and its harmful effects; because it is this awareness that would help to reduce the demand for smuggled goods and discourage individuals from participating in smuggling activities,” he warned.
Ejibunu called for more collaboration and partnership with stakeholders in the area of information sharing and intelligence in other to fight smuggling.
“In a continuous and renewed vigour to fight smuggling, we activated an enhanced intelligence gathering and information sharing mechanism and were able to identify some new smuggling hot spots and schemes employed by smugglers,” he concluded.