Customs FOU ‘A’ apprehends Covid-19 vehicle smuggling frozen poultry products in Ogun

   ...Seizes N12.7bn worth of illegal imports in four months


The Federal Operations Unit of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted a vehicle with Covid-19 sticker used to smuggle frozen chicken into the country.

The unit also intercepted various items of contraband worth N12.7 billion from January to April 2020, while carrying out its mandate as an anti-smuggling arm of the service saddled with the responsibility of suppressing smuggling in the six states of the South-West.

In a statement on Tuesday, Public Relations Officer of the unit, Jerry Attah,  said the officers intercepted the vehicle which pretended to be on duty, smuggling cartons of smuggled frozen chicken into the country from Benin Republic.

The Customs Area Controller of the unit, Usman Yahaya, disclosed that the vehicle was arrested along Ijebu Ode Expressway in Ogun State, based on intelligence report and the watchful operatives who were on routine patrol within the area.

His words: "The officers were professional enough to intercept the vehicle which was believed to be used in the movement of essential commodities but was surprise to see that it was used for illegal activities such as movement of contraband.

"We have arrested the vehicle and investigation has commenced to get to the root and unravel other atrocities that may have been committed using the essential duty tag."

Speaking on the activities of the Command in the last four months, the CAC said contraband worth N12.7 billion were intercepted from smugglers between January and April 2020

According to him, the unit also paid N1.14 billion into the Treasury Single Account of the Federal Government from Debit Note (DN) on intercepted containers from Lagos seaport, voluntary payment of Customs duty on vehicles, auction sales from PMS among others

A breakdown of the seizures show that 25 units of fairly used vehicles worth N108 million, 5,644 cartons of frozen chicken worth N54.1 million were intercepted, while 9,843 bags of 50kg smuggled parboiled rice worth N130.4 million and sacks of textile materials worth N94 million were seized within the period stated.

Other seizures made include N14 million worth of used tyre, 3,764 kegs of smuggled vegetables oil worth N69.2 million, 8,365 litres of smuggled petrol also known as (PMS) and AGO also known as Diesel worth N35 million.

Yahaya added that, "We won’t relent on our anti-smuggling fight especially at this time the government is preaching diversification into the agric sector due to the fall in price of oil in the international market which has affected government revenue base.

"So, we will ensure that smuggling is reduced to the nearest minimum and not allow to fester as that could be injurious to our economy and well-being as a country.”