DC Ejibunu by the side of a truck carrying some of the seized items.
Story by Dili Utomi.
The Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘A’, an interventionist arm of the Nigeria Customs Service in the course of carrying out its duty in the month of August made seizures of various items that were illegally imported into the country and also seized those that were about to be illegally exported out of Nigeria.
The Acting Controller of the Unit, Hussein K. Ejibunu made this known while addressing pressmen at the premises of the Unit at Ikeja, Lagos. The Controller said “Our partnership with you, which aims at discouraging smuggling and other unlawful activities by exposing the unlawful activities of smugglers and showing our efforts at stopping them is indeed laudable”. He stated that their adoption of constantly reworked strategies in handling their obligations gives them the edge over the economic saboteurs in “their game of concealment, false declaration and under payment of duties”.
The drums of Carbide seized in a container.
A most worrying aspect of the nefarious activities of the smugglers is the attempted importation of the intercepted and seized 20 drums of Carbide, a chemical material used in the manufacturing of improvised explosives devices simply known as IEDs, this chemical when in contact with other chemicals, water or moisture becomes reactive and could cause serious damage and it also causes some health challenges. Importation of this particular material as with others of such nature is strictly controlled by the office of the national security adviser and therefore requires an end user certificate when imported, but notably, the certificate has not been procured in this case.
DC Ejibunu pointing at the seized drums of Carbide.
Deputy Comptroller Ejibunu indicated that this and other seizures were made “From Idi-Roko, Oyo axis, Seme Road, Ijebu-Ode Road and the Ports Corridors and that ten (10) suspects were arrested in connection with some of the seized goods, and are at various stages of investigation and prosecution”. The full list of items seized over the period are 1 x 40ft container of flavour seasoning, falsely declared as auto spare parts, 1 x 40ft container of auto interior accessories, falsely declared as filters/pneumatic transmission,
1 X 40ft container of vegetable oil and foreign parboiled rice, falsely declared as used vehicles,
1 x 20ft container of 21 pallets of tiles, falsely declared as PVC floor tiles/floor bricks
1 x 20ft container of Padi Bitters, falsely declared as olive nuts, 1 x 20ft container of unprocessed wood, falsely declared as aluminum ingots, 1 x 20ft container of bales of used clothes and shoes, with a used fake seal/Dangote Truck, 20 drums of Carbide without an End User Certificate, 5,593 (50kg) bags of foreign parboiled rice an equivalent of 9 trailer truck load, 56,725 litres of premium motor spirit, 375 bales of used clothes, 242 parcels of Marijuana, 41 pieces of military camouflage bags, 11 used imported cars (Tokunbo), 29 motorcycles.
DC Ejibunu and his men showing Journalists round the seized items.
The aggregate duty paid value (DPV) of the seized goods is Five Hundred and Seventy- nine Million, Four Hundred and Twelve Thousand, Five Hundred and Fourty-nine Naira (N579,412,549). DC Ejibunu also stated that the sum of Fourty-six Million, Two Hundred and Ninety-eight Thousand, Four Hundred and Twenty-two Naira, Fifty Kobo (N46,298,422.50) was recovered from undervalued and under declared goods.
The Controller informed the gathering that the actions of smugglers violate the provisions of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) CAP C45 LFN 2004. He stated the desire of the Unit to continue to make life unbearable for smugglers and economic saboteurs and thanked the Controller General of Customs, his men and all those who make his job easier by way of credible information and cooperation.
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