The Nigeria Custom Service yesterday June 3, explained why it arraigned a Lebanese who was arrested by its operatives attached Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service.
Fares Chawich was arrested for allegedly defrauding the federal government of N233 million. The Custom Controller in charge of FOU Zone A, Ikeja, Turaki Usman Adamu, in a chat with Daily Trust accused the duo of breaking Customs seal placed on five cars. The FOU Zone A boss said he assigned some operatives from the unit to place seals on the cars, pending the outcome of the investigation.
“Contrary to the agreement reached by both parties, the Lebanese and his Nigerian accomplice removed the custom seal that was placed on the cars, in order to alter investigations” he added.
The five exotic cars were impounded following the discovery that there are discrepancies in their clearing documents.
He stated that the Unit was compelled to expediently charge the accused person to court following the illegal act of breaking Customs seal in violation of Section 145(5) of the Customs and Excise management Act Cap C45 laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004.
He added that the cars parked at the premises of the accused in Ikeja, were grossly undervalued in clear violation of the Federal Government import policy.
He stressed that the Unit had written a letter to the accused following intelligence information that the vehicles did not comply with standard import procedure in terms of due diligence.
The Controller lamented that instead of the first accused to go for regularization of duty, he broke the seal and removed the vehicles.
He confirmed that the accused person has been remanded in Ikoyi Prison, pending the fulfilment of the bail conditions, while the second accused Emmanuel Ekong, now at large, is being tracked. “Investigation is still ongoing to unravel the circumstances and source(s) of importation,” he stated.
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