Contrabands worth over N893.87 million were intercepted by the Federal Operations Unit of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Zone ‘A’ Ikeja, in December 2016.
Comptroller Haruna Mamudu disclosed this yesterday in a statement by the Public Relations Officer of the unit, Mr. Jerome Attah.
Mamudu explained that the unit also recovered N494.41 million from duty payments and demanded notices on vehicles and other general goods.
He said the duty payments were generated from people who tried to beat the system from the seaports, airports and land border stations.
According to him, “a cumulative N1.38 billion,” was received from the defaulters for making false declaration, transfer of value and short-change in duty payment that were meant for the Federal Government.”
He said: “This huge recovery in the history of the unit in one month was attributed to the leadership by example and the motivation that the comptroller gave to the unit’s officers and men when he assumed duty.
“There are also some appreciable compliance levels by some patriotic Nigerians who voluntarily paid appropriate duties on their goods and vehicles before the January 1, 2017, deadline on the ban on vehicles through the land borders.”
Mamudu commended the officers and men for living up to their statutory responsibilities in suppressing smuggling and enhancing trade facilitation toward sustaining best international standards.
He lauded the Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, for his effort in appreciating hard work and for helping when the need arose.
He explained that the unit had so far arraigned some smugglers before Justice Mohammed Hassan of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos.
He gave their names as Mr. Shu Xiang Quan and Wu Sheng, who are Chinese nationals and a Nigerian Mr. Ugochukwu Frank.
Mamudu said that the three suspects were arraigned on December 29, 2016, on a four-count charge of storing and exporting prohibited items.
According to him, the suspects have been remanded in Ikoyi Prison for trial, while the case was adjourned to January 5 and 23.
He said the NCS was also charged with enforcing the different International Protocols and Conventions in trade facilitation.
Some of these conventions include the United Nations Charter on Preservation of Endangered Species.
He disclosed that the NCS also seized tusks and unprocessed animal scale, which would be handed over to the National Environmental Standards Regulatory and Enforcement Agency (NESREA) for further action.