No fewer than 129 persons suspected to be smugglers of contraband have been arrested by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone “C” Owerri, Imo State in the last six months.
The service also recorded not less than 226 seizures of contraband with a duty paid value (DPV) of N1.1 billion within the same period.
Similarly, 118 cases are presently being prosecuted by the service in various courts within the zone.
These were disclosed by the Customs Area Controller of the unit, Comptroller Victor David Dimka, while reviewing the activities of the unit from January to June 2015.
The Customs chief revealed that the unit made its highest seizure in the month of March as it recorded a total of 63 seizures with a DPV of N337.3 million.
He added that about 25 arrests were also made within the period under review. According to him, the figure was at variance with 37 seizures with a DPV of N176.4 million made in January.
Dimka attributed the massive seizures made in March to an apparent stronger quest for materialism by the suspects involved in an ever-increasing corruption prone society.
Shedding more light on the seizures made within the months in question, the Customs Area Controller, who expressed concern at the persistent cases of smuggling in the country despite obvious stiff penalties for those arrested, listed 210 vehicles, 990 bales of textiles and second hand clothing, 126 packages of furniture and 296 bales of fairly used bags and suitcases worth N456, 704, 500; N101, 805, 700; N19, 584, 000; and N30,143, 400 respectively.
Others are 3,905 pieces of used tyres amounting to N53, 502, 100; 2,126 cartons of imported frozen poultry products worth N30, 566, 804; 1,731 bags of 50kg rice worth of N35, 678, 600; beverages and juice worth N72,000.
In the same vein, the CAC said that 2,686 pieces of used footwear estimated at N6,253,800; 37 cartons of foreign soap/detergents with 202 cartons of foreign vegetable oil amounting to N6,874,020; other goods which include electrical and electronics parts with used fridges and compressors, machinery, all used for concealing the items worth N303,391,772.
He appealed to members of the public for co-operation and support in the onslaught against smuggling across the country.
He assured that the NCS is now better trained, equipped and transformed to meet its challenges.
Source- This Day
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