Illegal goods worth N51,238,235 million have been seized by the Federal Operation Unit (FOU), Zone “D” of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) within five months.
This was disclosed by the Comptroller, FOU, Zone “D” Adesanmi Omiye, at a press conference, held at the Zonal headquarters in Bauchi.
He said the seized goods include rice, diesel, insecticide, textile materials, vehicles and used tyres, among others.
Omiye said the seizures were made as part of the Customs’ efforts aimed at fighting smuggling in the country, informing that they were made between February and June 2021.
He added that seizures included a vehicle containing 33,900 litres of diesel, packaged in 565 bags worth N12,910,250, seized around Otukpa in Benue State.
Comptroller Omiye informed that other seizures include 24 bundles of foreign textiles materials with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N8,880,000; four vehicles with a N5, 130,000 DPV and 27 bales of second-hand clothing worth N4,860,000 DPV.
He further informed that 236 cartons of foreign soap with DPV of N1,556,500; 143 foreign parboiled rice with a DPV of N3,776,000; 196 cartons of foreign spaghetti with a DPV of N1,411,200.00 and 60 Jerrycans of vegetable oil with a DPV of N1,440,000, among others were seized with the period under review.
“The operatives of the Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘D’ Bauchi apart from blocking and suppressing smuggling within the Zone have made seizures of 565 sacks containing 60 litres each of Vehicle/Petroleum Products (Diesel) totalling 33,900 litres with a DPV of N12,910,250.
“Twenty Four (24) bundles of foreign textiles material with a DPV of N8,880,000.00, four used vehicles with a DPV of N5,130,000.00, 27 bales of second-hand clothing with DPV of N4,860,000.00 and 236 cartons of foreign soap with DPV of N1,556,500.00.
“Others are 143 foreign parboiled rice with a DPV of N3,776,000.00, 196 cartons of foreign spaghetti with a DPV of N1,411,200.00, 60 Jerrycans of Vegetable Oil with a DPV of N1,440,000.00 and 52 used Tukumbo Tyres with a DPV of N624,000.00.
“The total DPV of all seizures is N51,238,235.00,” Comptroller Omiye informed.
Comptroller Omiye said the seizures by Customs operatives were made pursuant to the provisions of Sections 8 and 158 (Power to Patrol Freely) of Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) Cap C45 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 as amended.
He disclosed that investigation carried out by Customs revealed that the seized diesel was being conveyed from Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital to be smuggled out of the country.
“We know that this is supposed to be taken out of the country but we were able to seize it. Everything inside there is diesel and this is supposed to be for local consumption.
“If we had compromised, it would have gone to a foreign country and they will be enjoying our subsidy which is meant for our local market and we will be suffering here,” he said.
He disclosed that as a result of its combustive nature, the seized diesel would be auctioned and its proceeds would be paid into the coffers of the Federal Government.
“What we will do now as enabled by the relevant sections of the law of the federation, we will auction it (diesel) and pay the proceeds into the government’s account. The diesel because of the combustive nature, you can see some already spilling on the ground, we have to auction it immediately.”