February 28, 2018
Tola Adenubi, The Nigerian Tribune
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LAGOS: THE Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted various contraband goods worth N1,035,232,046.13 in the month of February 2018.
This is even as the Unit recovered N67,945,158.00 from demand notices raised on goods intercepted while attempting to beat the system through transfer of value and under-declaration, thereby making a cumulative of N1,103,177,204.00 only in the month under review.
Addressing newsmen in Lagos on Wednesday, the Customs Area Controller of the Unit, Compt. Mohammed Uba Garba stated that the seized items included 18 assorted vehicles, 4,201 bags of foreign parboiled rice, 2,619 cartons of frozen poultry products, 1,105 jerrycans of vegetable oil, 2,637 pieces of used tyres, 1,333_bales of used clothing, 2,001kg of Pangolin, 343kg of Elephant Tusks among others.
According to Uba Garba, “The detained vehicles include 1 Rolls Royce, 1 Chrysler, 1 Audi Q7, 1 Land Rover HSE, 1 Toyota Venza, 1 Ford Taurus, 1 Honda Cross tour, 4 Mercedes Benz, 3 Kia Rio, 1 Escalade amongst other various types of assorted cars ranging from 2008 to 2015 model.
”While some of the vehicles were intercepted along Ijebu Ode expressway, others were evacuated from a car mart located in Lekki.
“Remarkably, within the month under review, the Warehouse Operations Team led by Assistant Comptroller Mutalib Sule, while on intelligence, raided an apartment at number 38, Ogundana Street, off Allen Avenue in Ikeja, Lagos and evacuated 55 sacks of Pangolin shells weighing 2001kg and valued at N408, 319, 317.6.
“Also, 218 pieces of Elephant Tusk weighing 343Kg and valued at N85,156, 649.96 was also evacuated from the same apartment in Ikeja, Lagos.
“You will recall that the responsibilities of the Nigerian Customs Service have undoubtedly increased tremendously over time because of the implementation of different international protocols and conventions.
The Convention of International Trade on endangered species (CITES 1973) entails that Customs administration globally protects wildlife by intercepting illegal trade in such animals.
“It further prevents the killings of endangered species since the tusk are only available after the killing of the Elephant and Pangolin.
”In the spirit of inter-agency collaboration, the seized Pangolin and tusks have been handed over to the Nigerian Environment Standards and Regulatory Enforcement Agency (NESREA) for further investigations, towards the protection of our natural habitat.
“Also, a 1/20ft container with number CAIU0961053 was seized for false declarations, which is tantamount to seizure. 17 suspects have been arrested in connection with these 90 seizures.”