Activities of smugglers across states in the South west region of Nigeria were greatly impeded by the Federal Operations Unit, Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) who Tuesday said its men seized expired and illicit pharmaceutical drugs worth N1.4 billion in the region.
The unit’s acting controller, Hussein Ejibunu, while giving a breakdown of its successes against men of the underworld said it intercepted 11 trailer loads of imported rice during the same time.
Ejibunu said: “Our strategies are consistently being reworked in our efforts to be ahead of the economic saboteurs, towards defeating their game of concealment, false declaration, under payment, and duty evasion.
He said: “Prominent among the seizures made for contravening various sections of the extant Customs laws are:6,228 X 50kg bags of foreign parboiled rice (equivalent to 11 trailer loads); 35,325 liters of premium motor spirit (PMS); 279 Cartons of foreign poultry products; 105 parcels (50kg) of cannabis sativa; 2 x 40ft containers said to contain 883 bales of used clothes; 8 units of foreign used (Tokunbo) vehicles.
“The total worth of these goods in terms of Duty Paid Value (DPV) stood at N694, 462,150.00.
“Five suspects were arrested in connection with some of the goods.
“While the federal government played its role by imposing trade restrictions in an effort to protect our local companies and farmers from unhealthy competition with foreign firms, the onus lies on its citizens to complement government’s efforts with that of compliance with the Customs’ extant regulations and government’s fiscal policies.
“This can be achieved by making sincere declarations, and being properly guided by the import/export prohibition lists. It is imperative to note that the wisdom behind the government’s protectionist policy is to protect the national economy and safeguard its citizens’ lives and property.”