Ejibunu Proves That Smuggling Can Be Curtailed, Impounds Illicit Drugs, Other Goods Worth N2.1 Billion In March

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Hand over proper between Ejibunu & Ononuju
Controller showcase a container of seized bales of second hand clothing

Once more, dare devil smugglers in the Western zone bowed to superior Intelligence from the Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘A’ as the Unit intercepted 41 containers of expired and illicit drugs worth more than N1.4 billion. Other cargoes intercepted has a Duty Paid Value of N694,462,150.00

Hussein Kehinde Ejibunu –The Controller of the Federal Operations Unit, Zone A told newsmen today, while conducting them round at the Customs warehouse, Ikeja to see first hand, the volume of seizures in the month of March. He said the feat was as a result of the reworked strategy at the Unit which was able to bring in such drugs that did not comply with the statutory import requirements.
According to him the illicit drugs intercepted at different times and locations are now constructively warehoused in those containers, indicating that they will be handed over to the NAFDAC for possible destruction. The exact duty paid value stands at N1,422,000,000.

A battery of Journalists interviewing Ejibunu
Ejibunu inspecting the illicit drug

Part of the seizures recorded last month include 6,228 x 50kg bags of foreign parboiled rice (equivalent) to 11 trailer loads), 35,325 litres of premium motor spirit, 279 cartons of foreign poultry products and 105 parcels (50kg) of cannabis sativa.
Others include 2x40ft containers said to contain 883 bales of used clothes as well as 8 units of foreign used (Tokunbo) vehicles, all with total Duty Paid Value of N694,462,150.00. Five suspects were arrested in connection with some of these goods.
Ejibunu said while the Federal Government played its role by imposing trade restrictions in an effort to protect our local companies, farmers from unhealthy competition with foreign firms, the onus lies on its citizens to complement government’s efforts with that of compliance with the Customs extant regulations and government’s fiscal policies.

The controller & his men

According to him, this can be achieved by making sincere declarations and being guided by the import/export prohibited lists.
“It is imperative to note that the wisdom behind the government’s protectionist policy is to protect the national economy and safeguard its citizens’ lives and property”
He said smuggled used clothing expose its users to fungal diseases and other skin diseases like scabies, noting that apart from the effect of smuggled foreign poultry products on the economy, it also affects the health of its consumers, noting that some of these frozen products are preserved under unquestionable conditions. This assertion, he noted is embedded in some previous laboratory reports by the National Agency for Food And Drugs Administration and Control Agency (NAFDAC).

Ejibunu signs documents to hand over the fake drugs the NAFDAC representative, Ononuju
Seized foreign rice on top the means of conveyance

The FOU Zone A boss disclosed that in our efforts to prevent loss of government revenue to duty underpayments that either arose from the undervaluation of imported items or wrong Harmonized System (HS) code classification, the sum of N72,693,307.09 was recovered during the period.
These seizures, he stated are “a reflections of our commitment to duty and non-compromise in the discharge of our functions; aimed at protecting the nation’s economy and preventing importation of prohibited and harmful products from entering out domestic markets”.
Ejibunu said the public is encouraged to approach any Customs office across the country for information and guidance concerning international trade. He also told newsmen that two other accomplices of the suspects arrested recently in the use of fake documents to bring in 6000 vehicles through Benin Republic have also been arrested.

Bags of seized cannabis sativa
Seized rice all through

After the Controller handed over the fake drugs to NAFDAC, Its Director Investigations, Mr Francis Ononuju commended the management of the FOU ‘A’ for its collaborative efforts noting that the Agency will engage in further investigations of this drug haul.
He said most of the seized drugs are usually destroyed, drawing instance with the Joint destruction of such drugs in Benin Republic last year. Most of the seized drugs at the Customs warehouse are Labumol-Dyclofenac Pottassium.
Ononuju promised to invite journalists to follow up on the destruction of the illicit drugs soon.

Container of seized shoes
Rice, rice, rice yet everyone is hungry

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