The closure of Nigeria’s land borders by the government since August appears to have forced importers of frozen food items to turn attention to the Lagos airport in order to continue their nefarious business.
Relying on intelligence, the Nigeria Customs Service, Murtala Mohammed International Airport Command, intercepted two consignments of frozen foods like pork, turkey, meat and other perishable items on Sunday and Monday.
The first consignment was intercepted on a South African Airways flight from Johannesburg through the tarmac operatives of the command.
The second consignment was abandoned at Gate 13 of the airport by the importers.
The two consignments had the total duty paid value of N68.850m.
The Customs Area Comptroller, MMIA, Mr Wale Adeniyi, told journalists that the first consignment containing meat, chicken, turkey and other frozen food items were discovered on South African Airways on November 10, 2019.
He explained that officers of the command discovered the items after insisting on inspecting the consignments.
He said, “Though the airway bill described the goods as fresh vegetables but they were frozen food items, which are contraband in the country.
“It became obvious that the importer through his agents had prepared pre-release documentation purporting the import to be fresh vegetables with the sole intention to evade the import prohibition order.”
Adeniyi declared that the seizures were warning to importers of contraband goods into the country, reiterating that the command would make it extremely difficult for such persons to use the airport to perpetuate their criminal activities.