*** 22 exotic cars
***Arrests 7 Suspects
By Sandra Chukwunyere
This was so for the smugglers who before this have found Seme route as their safest route in last two months. This is so because since coming on board of the no-nonsense man, the anti-smuggling wizard, and the new Customs Area Controller (CAC) of Seme Command, Comptroller Mohammed Uba Garba, things are no more the same, in fact, things had really fallen apart for them and the centre can no longer hold for them, and it has been cries of woes and lamentations for them.
The same was the plight of these evil businessmen and women known as smugglers in the hands of Uba.
The CAC whose Command within two months, December and January Intercepted different brands of vehicles used by smugglers to conceal different brands of contraband where nabbed and impounded the patrol team of the Command’s anti-smuggling squad.
One of such vehicles was a Mitsubishi Triton L200, 2005 Model bearing the name Blue Boat Company, one of makers of Freshyo Yugurth beverages was among the 22 vehicles intercepted by operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service, Seme Area Command for various infractions.
The Mitsubishi vehicle was allegedly stuffed with twenty bags of smuggled rice alleged to have entered through the neighbouring countries .
The Command said that it made a total of NI.o billion from December 20I8 to January 20I9. Generated Six Hundred and Thirty-three million, Twenty-Eight, Four Hundred and FORTY-Four Naira Sixty-Eight Kobo. (N633,028,442.68) in January alone.
But the CAC noted that out of the 8.I billion target given to the Command for period, that they were able to make 76% of that total target.
Coming back to the seized company’s van which had the brand name ”Blue Boat, Freshyo Drinking and Yoghurt ”, the CAC said it was detained on the 12th of December 2018 for conveying the contraband items along Lagos Badagry expressway.
The detained vehicle with registration number GGE 417 XU has Duty of N747,877.63 with Duty Paid Value of N3,337,316.00k.
Speaking further on the development, the Seme Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Uba Garba Mohammed maintained that it took intelligence of the officers to be able to discover the contents of the vehicle which he said had beaten other road blocks before it was finally intercepted.
Comptroller Uba equally noted that the driver of the said vehicle escaped while the company van was taken to the Command.
According to the Controller, 27 other vehicles were nabbed including 22 fairly used vehicles and six means of conveyance were also seized.
He stated that notable among them were Toyota Coaster Van (2014 model), Toyota Land cruiser Prado (2011), Mercedes Benz GLK 350 (2010), Toyota Sienna (2013), Toyota 4 Runner (2014) and a host of others.
He said that the combined Duty Paid Value (DPV) for the vehicles stands at N177,314,091.
Other items seized by the command within the same period include; 6,753 bags of 50kg foreign rice which is said to be equivalent to N121,689,00 DPV with levy of N35,790,900; 45 ×25 litres jerry cans of vegetable oil with DPV of N573,750.
135×50kg of bags of sugar with DPV of N567,000; 71×25 litres of PMS with DPV of N106,500; 21 cartons of Tinned Tomatoes with N127,575 and two sacks of used shoes with N67,500.
The Customs Area Controller further stated that 91 parcels of hard drugs and narcotics were seized and have been handed over to the Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
He added that one of the suspects handed over to the NDLEA had been prosecuted and sentenced to a term of imprisonment.
However, in December, the Command’s income from revenue generation and seizures is N1,055,122,539.68.