Customs generates N1 billion, warns smugglers of economic sabotage
The Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Strike Force Unit, said it raised debit notes worth N1 billion from importers and shippers in the first quarter of the year.
The service also said smugglers now make use of cattle, camels, vehicles fuel compartments, used tyres, and booths to smuggle rice and other dangerous goods into the country.
Speaking during a media briefing in Lagos, the officer-In-charge of the unit, Deputy Comptroller Ahmadu Bello Shuaibu, said the amount generated would have been lost to smugglers, fraudulent importers, and clearing agents that under-declare cargoes at the seaports.
He stated further that the unit in the last three months intercepted foreign parboiled rice, printed label materials, used vehicles, textiles material, used tyres, and second-hand clothing.
He, however, charged importers involved in the false declaration of cargoes and under-declaration to turn a new leave and uphold true declaration.
Corroborating Shuaibu, the National Public Relations Officer of the service, Joseph Attah, said the N1 billion generated from alerts in the first quarter have justified the creation of the Strike Force Unit.
He also said the new method used by smugglers has shown that big vehicles could no longer be used to smuggle rice and other contrabands into the country.
“We have suppressed smuggling to the extent that they no longer make use of big trucks, vehicles, motorcycles to smuggle anymore. They now make use of camels, cattle, donkeys to move them in trickles.
“For instance, the three wonder cars were reconstructed and redesigned for the purpose of smuggling. They are reconstructed to get as much rice as possible, the smugglers can no longer use trucks and motorcycles because they are becoming difficult due to the anti-smuggling drives of our officers.”