Ejibunu’s Men Several Steps Ahead of Dare-Devil Ingenious Smugglers; Seize 9-Trailer Loads of Foreign Rice
Men of the Federal Operations Unit (FOU) zone ‘A’ didn’t disappoint as usual in their quality seizure profile as they posted 9 trailer-loads of foreign parboiled rice, equivalent of 5,459 bags in the month of November.
The Controller in charge of the \unit, Hussein Kehinde Ejibunu told newsmen today that the Unit’s antenna was super active now more than ever before to track rice smugglers and other prohibited foreign products in this yuletide season. His men, he noted have been re-strategised to nip smuggling in the bud during the Christmas and New Year festivities.
No less than eleven suspects are in the custody of the Unit while investigations are on-going. Other seized products in the period under consideration include 18,000 litres of Premium Motor Spirit, 376 bales of used clothes, 1,926 cartons of frozen poultry products and 337 pieces of used compressors. Not left out are 3,838 pieces of used tyres, 13 used vehicles (Tokunbo) as well as 396 cartons of frozen fish.
Ejibunu disclosed that the total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of the seized goods stood at N872,575,250. Ingenious concealment of several bags of rice in the Engine compartment of several dainty cars signposted the new tricks by the economic saboteurs; while half of some trailers were constructed to warehouse foreign smuggled rice.
“Ingenious concealment is an activity that plays a significant role in smuggling operations. It allows smugglers to hide illicit goods from detection by concerned authorities” he stressed.
He deposed that smuggling remains illegal and a crime that has negative social, economic and security implications. In this regard, he stated that it is their resolve to continuously work harder to improve detection methods with the aid of intelligence, noting that the strategic deployment of officers with intelligence-driven in anti-smuggling operations led to the arrest of a Toyota Highlander with an ingenious concealment of suspected bags of foreign parboiled rice at Iju-Ojuoren, Ogun State.
“These seizures reflect our commitment to the discharge of our functions; aimed at protecting the nation’s economy and preventing the importation of prohibited and harmful products from entering our domestic markets”, he noted.
He warned that the zone would remain a no-go area and too hot for smugglers in the coming weeks and months, warning them to quickly relocate otherwise they would be losing their illegal investments through economic sabotage.
According to him; the huge investment in the provision of logistics by the Comptroller-General, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, MFR, has assisted a great deal nipping smuggling in the bud.
With the emerging strategy by smugglers to conceal prohibited goods using ingenious means, it calls for collaborative efforts of all citizens to support the Customs Service, by providing useful and timely information that would aid the anti-smuggling drive.
On the revenue front, Ejibunu said the sum of N71,254,984.71 was generated through conscious and thorough documentary checks, followed by the issuance of Demand Notices on consignments that were found to have paid lesser amounts than the appropriate Customs duty.