The Nigeria Customs Service Federal Operations Unit “Zone C” Owerri has impounded goods with the duty paid value of over five hundred million Naira within the last two months.
The Comptroller in charge of the zone Mr Kayode Olusemire made this known while conducting Journalists round some of the seized items in Benin, Edo State.
According to him, the impounded items include over four thousand bags of 50kg of foreign rice intercepted along Lagos Benin highway, sixteen exotic vehicles, a truck loaded with unapproved pharmaceutical drugs and fifty bales of second-hand clothes.
Mr Olusemire maintained that the ban on importation of rice through the land borders was still in force and advised those engaging in the business to have a rethink as the service was determined to end smuggling.
The Comptroller explained that the seized vehicles which included an armoured sports utility vehicle were smuggled into the country through the land borders to evade payment of import duty to the government.
Mr Olusemire noted that the seizures were made possible through credible intelligence and called on the public to always assist the Nigeria Customs Service with useful information that will help in arresting smugglers.
Mr Olusemire explained that some genuine goods like plastics, cement and household wares were seized because they were used in concealing contraband items and called on people to be wary of logistics companies they engage in transporting their goods to avoid falling victims.
He said seven suspects have been arrested in connection with the illegal business noting that they would be prosecuted to serve as a deterrent.