Seme Customs seize contraband worth N2.9bn in two months

customsTHE Seme border command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on Wednesday said it seized contraband worth over N2.9bn which included 27 trailers load of foreign parboiled rice smuggled into the country through neighbouring Benin Republic.

Speaking while displaying the seized items to journalists, the Customs Area Controller of the command, Comptroller Mohammed Uba Garba said the command also seized 21 exotic vehicles worth N135million between September and November 2018.

According to him, “We also impounded 57 packs of Tramadol worth N11million, 40 pieces of used textiles worth N774,270 and 115 cartons of imported frozen poultry products worth N728,654.

“During this two months, our resolute determination to succeed resulted in an impressive revenue generation of N1.9billion realized for the period under review. Similarly, the uncompromising stance of the enforcement unit led to the seizure‘ of 850 items with a duty paid value (DPV) of N378 million.”

Giving details of the seizures, the Controller said the bags of rice seized were equivalent to 27 trailers and worth N302.4 million.

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“The seizures were 16,729 bags of 50kg foreign rice which is equivalent to 27 trailers of rice worth N302,477,040; 115 cartons of imported {frozen poultry products worth N728,654; 57 X 50 litres of Jerry Cans of vegetable oil worth N400,440 and 111 pieces of used tyres worth N859,345.

“Others are 21 vehicles worth N134,410,536; 50 litres of Jerry can of petroleum products worth N300,572 378; 50kg bags of sugar worth N7,394,521 and 40 pieces of used textiles worth N774,270.

“57 packs of Tramadol worth N11,090,832; 387 sacks of coconut worth N2,313,360 and General Goods worth N52,005,135 making a total of N2,839,507,352.66,” the Seme Customs boss stated.

On arrests, Comp. Mohammed said seven suspects who are connected to the act were arrested and are in various stages of investigations and conviction.

“Already, seven suspects were arrested. some were convicted, bailed and currently detained in connection with the seizures and are undergoing interrogation for possible prosecution.

“Beyond the above statistics, it is obvious that the seizures represent the protection of the economy and security of our people. Let me state clearly that it is simply not enough to inform you about the revenue and seizures (with the DPV); what is of paramount importance is to boost our economic growth and provide employment for our teeming youths.

“Take, for instance, the government policy on rice; the rationale behind the policy is geared towards self-sufficiency in terms of food production that would meet the demand of the citizenry. Incentives have been created for rice farmers. Individuals and State governments have committed so much in terms of finance in order for this goal of self-sufficiency to be actualized.

“We as a Command cannot afford to be complacent. The dangers inherent in this illegality are too numerous to mention, hence our resolve to fight them relentlessly.

“Among the seizures recorded, are imported frozen poultry products. As you are aware, such products are unhealthy and very dangerous for human consumption due to the chemical substance used in preserving them, which are carcinogenic.

“For the avoidance of doubt, we are not out to frustrate members of the public or indeed the business community, our major interest is to facilitate legitimate trade.

“All those who are compliant, have nothing to fear. We remain determined to detect, arrest and prosecute those who do not comply with the extant laws regarding importation and exportation through the land borders,” Comptroller Uba added.

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