The Federal Operations Unit Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service, said it intercepted 34,725 liters of Petroleum Motor Spirit, 7,261 bags of 50kg foreign parboiled rice equivalent to 12 trucks load other contrabands worth over N537million in July.
Addressing journalists at the unit in Ikeja on Thursday, the acting Customs Area Controller in charge of the unit, Hussein Ejibunu said that the unit also intercepted 201 cartons of expired seasoning, 39 bales of used clothes amongst others with the period under reeview.
He explained that the liters of the PMS were intercepted at the borders while being smuggled to Benin Republic.
Ejibunu said, “You may recall that, some weeks ago, Nigerians had to pay more for PMS amidst scarcity. Despite the fact that the Federal Government had subsidised the product for local consumption, many Nigerians still passed through this hardship; partly because some unscrupulous citizens choose to satisfy their egoistic desires by smuggling the products into the Republic of Benin; some of which were along the border corridors.
“Notable among the seizures recorded within the period under review are I. 7,261 bags of 50kg foreign parboiled rice equivalent to 12 trucks load, 600 bags of basmati rice 5kg each, 34,725 liters of PMS, 39 bales of used clothes, 225 pieces of used tyres, 201 cartons of expired seasoning, 331 cartons of frozen poultry, six units of used imported cars, 2,634 cartons of slippers/shoes, 900 pairs of used shoes, 42 units of used motorcycles, amongst others.”
Ejibunu also said that the unit was able to arrest nine suspects in connection with the various seizures.
He said, “Nine suspects were arrested in connection with some of the seizures. Seizures recorded had a cumulative DPV of N537m. Through meticulous checks on import documents, followed with the issuance of demand notices to importers/agents found to have short paid their duties; the sum of N24m was collected as revenue.”
Some of the intercepted goods, he said, were dangerous to health adding that using hard earned forex to import expired goods was a misplaced priority.
He said, “This Unit had intercepted some goods that are of health and safety concerns. A misplaced priority as demonstrated in the use of hard earned forex for the importation of expired seasonings, used clothes, shoes and tyres is not only injurious to the economy.”