The Federal Operations Units (FOU) of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has evacuated
57 vehicles with Duty Paid Value (DPV) worth over N1.3 billion from Omole estate and Lekki phase 1, all in Lagos in November, 2017.
Another seven vehicles were intercepted due to information while on patrol along Ijebu Ode expressway and Olorunda.
The 64 vehicles, among which, 59 are brand new, according to the Customs Area Controller in charge of Federal Operations Unit, Ikeja Lagos, were allegedly smuggled into the country through the land borders without payment of duty
Three bulletproof SUVs were among the seized vehicles detained for not having End Users Certificates (EUC).
Controller of The Federal Operations Unit, Zone A, Lagos on Wednesday, said nobody had come to claim ownership of the seized vehicles two weeks after seizure.
“On assumption of office, I promised that on a monthly basis, I will bring to your notice our activities.
“We have intercepted 64 vehicles, among which 59 are brand new. To proof to you that they were smuggled, the owners are at large.”
This seizure is coming barely a month the customs unit intercepted 59 bulletproof vehicles from a hidden house in Ikoyi, Lagos. The revealed that these new seizures were made through another intelligent reports.
Mr Uba said, “the vehicles were evacuated based on intelligence along Omole estate, Ojodu and Olayiwola close, Lekki Phase one.
The remaining seven were intercepted while on information patrol along Ijebu Ode expressway and Olorunda.
“Our legal unit has already been mandated to investigate it and as soon as we get any head way about the owners or their agents, we will let the public know.”
In other seizures made within same month under review, 13,333 bags of 50kg of parboiled foreign rice were seized.
The rice, according to the Unit, with duty paid value of 164,449,888.65, were smuggled into the country.
“We need to support the Federal Government policy on rice, encourage local farmers, the millers and patronise our own nutritional rice.”Uba said.
Other seizures according to the customs, were, 835 jerrycans of vegetable oil, 15 parcels of Indian Hemp, 1,101,used tyres and 205 bales of used clothing.
“The duty paid values for all the intercepted items are N1,595,141,144.81.” Uba revealed.
As enshrined in the customs extant law, vehicles and rice were banned coming into the country land borders.
While refined vegetable oil are also prohibited.
“Oil in refined form is not allowed into the country. What is allowed is vegetable oil in crude form.
Reason is that, it will undergo further processing here and that will give our fellow Nigerians employment opportunity.” He said.
Mohammed added that the unit has constantly made seizures of dutiable goods used to conceal smuggled items while showing a truck of concealed rice covered with vehicle parts.
He also showed reporters a truck of foreign rice that were repackaged into local sacks marked as Nigerian rice to deceive unsuspecting consumers and sell at a relatively higher price.