Wednesday, December 20,2017
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said it seized 3, 870 with a duty paid value (DPV) of N11.2 billion in 11 months, spanning from January to November 2017.
NCS Public Relations Officer Mr Joseph Attah, who disclosed this yesterday in Abuja, said this was against the 5,602 goods worth N10.2 billion seized within the same period in 2016.
Attah said the volume of seizures made in 2017 increased over last year’s because of the massive seizure of expensive vehicles.
“Between January and November 2016, a total 5, 602 assorted seizures were made.
“Within that period, 335 persons were arrested in connection with the seizures; some of them were granted bail; some of them had their cases pending, some had their cases at advance stages.
“In the same period of January and November this year, we recorded 3,870 seizures with 186 persons arrested in connection with these seizures.’’
He said the high profile seizures were made, some of which included weapons, prohibited items, and exotic vehicles such as bullet-proof cars.
“This year, we recorded more of high profile seizures beyond the 2,671 pump action riffles that cannot be valued; of course you know these are highly prohibited items that cannot be sold or auctioned; so automatically their value is not here.
We had exotic cars – bullet-proof cars that their values are more than N300 million.
“The 5,602 seizures of 2016 between January and November amounted to N252, 408, 422 while that of 2017 – talking about 3,870 seizures, amounted to N11,237, 574,346.63.’
Attah said customs had reasons to believe that some financially strong smugglers had taken advantage of the country’s porous land borders and government policies to smuggle in items such as bullet-proof cars.
“Recently, anti-smuggling operatives of the Federal Operation Unit Zone A, stormed a place in Lagos – a well fenced place and evacuated more than 50 exotic cars. So our anti-smuggling operation in 2017 was highly intelligence-driven and that led to the seizure of high profile and highly valuable items,’’ he said.