Controller of the Federal Operations Unit, zone A, Hussein Kehinde Ejibunu has said under his watch, the Unit has not killed any smuggler or any member of the public.
Conversely, he noted that is rather the smugglers that have violently wounded his officers at will and even killed some, noting that he also has evidence to prove this.
He stated that the Unit has operated in line with extant laws which respect the dignity of life in all its activities.
Ejibunu said this on the sidelines of his media briefing today where he disclosed that the Unit made 91 seizures valued at N813,058,345 in the month of August.
They include over 11 truck-loads of rice (6,911 × 50kg bags of foreign parboiled rice), 345 kg of Indian hemp, 486 cartons of frozen poultry products, 368 pieces of tyres and 13 used vehicles.
Others are 32 cartons of expired batteries, 1×40 ft container FTC carrying one used Toyota corolla 49 pieces of car rims, 552 pieces of car used tyres, 205 pieces of used truck tyres and 32 pieces of motorcycle tyres.
Others include 292 bales of used clothes and 13,525 litres of premium motor spirit.
The customs helmsman pointed out that 12 suspects in connection with the seizures were in their custody.
“Worthy of mention is the fact that apart from the cartons of codeine syrup we showcased during the last press briefing, additional cartons were again intercepted, making a total of 394 cartons seized within the period under review ”
He drew the attention of the public to the dangers posed by the importation of Indian hemp (cannabis sativa) because of its effects on criminal minded people and the youths.
Similarly, the importation of foreign parboiled rice and poultry products he said is an adversary to the economy of the local farmers, while smuggling of prohibited items such as used shoes, illicit drugs, used clothes and used tyres are giving serious health concerns.
He promised to partner with well meaning Nigerians by soliciting fir timely and useful information to curb smuggling, while advising the public to also be well guided by the import and export prohibition lists for compliance.
‘It is sad that some Nigerians would pay all duties and levies payable to the customs authorities of other countries they import from, while they make conscious efforts to evade such payments into the federal government coffers’
Ejibunu stated that foreign tomato paste, used clothing, foreign parboiled rice, importation of vehicles through the land borders, used tyres, arms and Ammunition without end-user certificates among others, are items that fall under the import prohibition list, as their importation threatens our fragile economy.
He said the unit generated N81,449,373.38 into government coffers through documentary checks and issuance of Demand Notices on consignments that were found to have been short paid.
Ejibunu thanked the Comptroller General, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, MFR, for the additional logistics supply of two trucks for the evacuation of seizures and a toying truck, noting that ‘the provision of these logistics has eased our operations’