Customs FOU arrest 30 suspects

THE Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone “C” Owerri, last month made 48 seizures, worth a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of one hundred and ninety-seven million, three hundred and eighty-five thousand and seven hundred and forty-seven naira (N197,385,747.00).

The Customs Area Controller (CAC) of the unit, Comptroller Dimka, Victor David fsi disclosed this while briefing newsmen on the latest performance of the unit.

He explained that thirty (30) suspects were arrested in connection with the smuggling which occurred on the Benin/Asaba express way, Owerri/Port-harcourt Road and Enugu axis respectively, adding that twenty (20) cases are now pending in court in respect of the seizures.

According to Comptroller Dimka, in addition to the forty-eight (48) seizures made last month, an under-payment of Twenty-four million, two hundred and forty-six thousand, two hundred and thirteen naira (#24,246,213.00) was also recovered. He gave a breakdown of the seizures as follows: sixty-nine (69) bales of second hand clothing, thirty-nine (39) vehicles, one hundred and thirty –nine (139) pieces of used tyres, two hundred and forty-four (244) pairs of used foot wears and sixty (60) bags of 50kg rice.

He emphasized clearly on the increased number of exotic vehicles seized by his unit on daily basis; and advised members of the public who wish to purchase vehicles to ensure that they go through the official channels and to always verify from the Customs before investing their money, warning that all illegally imported goods would be impounded as ignorance of the Law is no excuse.

He also warned that the NCS will never succumb to senseless and irrational pleadings for leniency and pardon by individuals caught in the act of smuggling; according to him, that will amount to compromising the statutory responsibilities of the Establishment.

The Customs Area Controller, who decried the upsurge of smuggling of contraband goods in the country despite obvious stiff penalties for culprits, assured that the Nigeria Customs Service would never be deterred in its patriotic mission to bring the scourge to its barest minimum.

He lamented the harm being inflicted on the nation’s economy by smugglers, their sponsors and collaborators, and warned such unpatriotic individuals to desist from their nefarious activities as the NCS is now better equipped, trained and motivated to tackle the scourge of smuggling with dexterity and pragmatism.

Dimka, according to a press statement signed by Public Relation Officer, Onuigbo Ifeoma reminded those still immersed in the smuggling to be mindful of the fact that the shady deal had brought sorrows and grief to those arrested and their families, stressing that they should turn over to a new leaf, before it is too late.

In addition, the CAC cautioned youths to purge them-selves of “get-rich quick-mentality”, noting that the quest for materialism by many, often push them into crimes and other illicit activities such as impersonating Customs Officers in social media (facebook).

He advised those seeking white cola jobs to avail themselves of the opportunity being provided by the various skill acquisition centres, where they can be trained for self economic reliance.

Dimka Once more, commended members of the public who have courageously and patriotically supplied the Unit with relevant information bordering on smuggling and gave an assurance that such highly classified information will never be divulged in line with the ethics of the profession.

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