From middle- left: CGC, Col. Hammed Ali (Rtd),Apapa CAC, Compt. Abubakar Bashir, Nat’l PRO,DC Joseph Attah ,Apapa PRO, Nkeiruka Nwala. Right: FOU Zone A CAC, Compt. Mohammed A.A and other top Customs Officers displaying seized item.
…As Ali Commends Apapa Premier Command for Superlative Feat
By Sandra Chukwunyere
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) is up and doing in ensuring that importers comply with import and export procedures by making sure that they meet up with maximum revenue collection. And they are working hard to safeguard the security and well being of the citizenry of this country.
The Customs boss also commended the Apapa Command of the NCS for job well done.
This is because the Command made the highest seizure in recent history through the diligent men and officers of the Service of the Apapa Command as they intercepted 40x40ft containers containing banned substance (Tramadol and other pharmaceutical products) including two helicopters.
The helicopters, according to Col. Hameed Ali, were declared as cashew nuts to beat the Customs operatives, who on their own are intelligent officers and well trained on anti-smuggling issues. .
The Duty Paid Value (DPV) of the seized items are Seven Billion, Three Hundred and Eighteen Million, Nine Hundred and Seventy Eight Thousand and Sixty Five Naira Only ( N7,318,978,065.00 ).
The importers of the contraband goods attempted to bribe the Customs officers with the sum of N150 million for each of the 40 containers that were seized, promising to increase the bribe money if they played along.
At a well attended Press Conference in Lagos, the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd) said that the Service achieved the feat with “vigilance and intelligence gathering within the system as well as information from the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). He said, it was worrisome that Nigerians were willing to make money at the expense of human lives by bringing such dangerous substances into the country.
He noted that the seizures were in line with the provisions of the Customs & Excise Management Act, CEMA, which was undergoing review at the National Assembly.
The helicopters, with Registration Number SN-BL were intended for export, thus contravening the CEMA Act of 2004. Another aircraft, a Cessna 182A was imported from the United States of America and seized for failure to produce End-User Certificate from the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) and approval from the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCA)
Consequently, CG Ali commended agencies of government such as the Nigerian Navy and the Nigeria Police, Western Command, for their continued cooperation and partnership in ridding the society of the menace of smuggling.
Fielding questions from reporters, the CG explained that it was premature to reveal the identities of the smugglers to forestall a breach of investigations but assured that as soon as all investigations were concluded, they would be made to face the full wrath of the law. A Customs officer is being detained and investigated for releasing the containers under his watch.
He called on importers to comply with extant rules and procedures in order not to jeopardize the security and health of the nation.