FOU Customs intercepts bags of expired smuggled rice, Indian hemp in Lagos
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone A, on Monday in Lagos, said that it intercepted 1,237 bags of expired foreign parboiled rice with the Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N15.2 million.
The command also intercepted 27 luxury vehicles smuggled into the country, with DPV of about N228.2 million including 1,590 Kilogram of Cannabis Sativa popularly known as Indian hemp worth N72.9 million.
Speaking with newsmen in his office in Lagos, Muhammed Uba Garba, Customs Area Controller (CAC) of the unit, said that the contraband items, which has a total value of N9 million was allegedly imported from neighboring Benin Republic.
“These are 50kg of 1,237 bags of foreign Rice and some of them have expired. The Federal Government has banned the importation of rice and import vehicles through the land borders, but they are still coming in. This is why we have to enforce the FG policy on ban on importation of rice and vehicles through land borders.
According to him, the command will continue to enforce the policies because the policy on local rice production was put in place to encourage local rice millers vis-à-vis encourage local farmers and create jobs for majority of Nigerians.
“We also impounded used clothing and they are under prohibition and as policy implementing agency, we must ensure this goods are not allowed to come into Nigerian markets,” the CAC stated.
Barely three weeks after intensifying our operational modalities, the field operatives fortified with credible information trailed and intercepted 27 assorted vehicles smuggled into the country through unapproved routes.
“The smuggled vehicles includes Toyota Prado jeep, Hilux, Highlander, Mercedes-Benz among others ranging from 2007 to 2013 models. These 27 assorted vehicles alone have a Duty Paid Value of N228.2 million.”
The unit also said it intercepted frozen poultry products, Indian hemps, medicaments, used tyres and various general merchandise valued at N303 million.
“The unit also recovered N252million from duty payments and demand notices on general goods that tried to outsmart our officers at seaports, airports and land borders through wrong classification, transfer of value and shortchange in duty payment that are meant for the Federal Government. A cumulative sum of N784 million were recorded within the week under review.”
He however urged all complaints traders not to exercise any fear while embarking on their legitimate business but to be honest in their declarations because as one of the enforcement agencies of government, Customs will continue to work towards ensuring compliance with all extant laws guiding imports and exports in Nigeria.
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