Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Area II Command, Onne Port, has intercepted a 40 feet container laden with 600 pairs of military camouflage uniforms, 600 pairs of military caps and 600 pairs of military jungle boots. These items and other contraband seized have Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N543.95 million. The military hard wares were concealed with 80 rolls of water hose, 10 cartons of singlet, 50 cartons of shoes, 207 cartons of tiles, 15 bales of socks, five sacks of ladies’ skirts and other items with DPV of N4.68 million.
The command added that container load of 575 machetes with N21.2 million DPV were imported with fake end user certificate. Already, some suspects have been arrested in connection with the seizures and have been transferred to the Customs Headquarters for further investigation. The command’s spokesperson, Ifeoma Onuigbo, said in statement yesterday that the Controller of the command, Comptroller Aliyu Galadima Saidu, had bemoaned the incessant activities of smugglers in the area. Saidu said that 1,070 jerry cans of vegetable cooking oil in 25 litres cans with N8.5 million DPV were impounded from smugglers. He added that 55 20 feet container of foreign rice which contained 510 (50kg) bags of rice, 1,040 (25kg) bags of rice, 19,680 (10kg) bags of rice with total DPV of N364.74 million were seized at the port.
The comptroller also listed other seizures as: six 20 feet containers with 13,560 cartons of tomatoes’ paste with DPV N70.50 million; 196 bags of imported foreign rice, 30 bags second hand clothing, three sacks of second hand shoes with DPV of N2.5 million; 40 feet container of 290 bales of second hand clothing, 20 sacks of used shoes with DPV of N12.93 million and two 20 feet containers comprising 2,140 jerry cans of cooking oil in 25 litres) with DPV N17 million. Other seizures are container load of 1,070 jerry cans of cooking oil in 25 litres with DPV of N8.5 million and one 40 feet container comprising one Golf VW, one used car engine and 15 used car bonnets used to conceal used tyres with DPV of N29.76 million.
Saidu stressed that the total DPV of all the seizures was N543.95 million He noted that the command generated N26.38 billion from imported goods in the last three months. Saidu said a comparative analysis report of the command’s revenue profile showed that N62.59 billion was generated between January and October 2017 while N68.3 billion was generated between January and October this year.
The comptroller noted that smuggling poised a high threat to both the economy and security of the country. According to him, this is why those who engage in it are considered economic saboteurs since they engage in false declarations to evade the correct duty payment. He said: “Smugglers are the destroyers of the country’s economy.” Saidu added that it was very unfortunate and disturbing that despite the wide awareness on the dire consequences of smuggling activities on economic growth and development, some citizens still found joy in perpetrating the evil act only for per-sonal gains