The Nigeria Customs Services (NCS) has intercepted 27 Toyota Hilux vans suspected to have being smuggled into the country.
The vehicles valued at N432 million, were intercepted along Kubwa expressway in Abuja over non payment of custom duty.
Briefing newsmen at the Customs headquarters on Friday, the Deputy Comptroller General (DCG) Enforcement, Investigation, and Inspection, Aminu Dangaladima said based on credible intelligence, operatives of the Federal Compliance Team evacuated the vehicles from two car stands.
“On Wednesday 10th October 2017, based on credible intelligence, operatives of NCS Compliance Team went to two open car stands along Kubwa express-way in the Federal Capital Territory and evacuated 27 Toyota Hilux pick-up vehicles suspected to be smuggled into the Country. These vehicles have estimated duty paid value (DPV) of over N432,000,000 million.
“We urge the owners of these vehicles to come forward with valid Customs clearance documents otherwise they will be liable to Seizure and subsequent Forfeiture to the Federal Government in-line with laws of the land.
“You will recall that last month, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) while briefing on interception of 18 exotic vehicles, 13 of which were bullet proof said that the Service under his leadership will enforce the powers given in the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) effectively.
“For the avoidance of doubt, what we are doing is in-line with the provisions of Sections 147 of Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) Cap 45, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 (power to search premises), Section 158 of CEMA, Cap 45 Laws of Federation of Nigeria (power to patrol freely).
“It must also be understood that being in possession of smuggled items is an offence under Section 3 of Customs and Excise (special penal and other provision) Act Cap 47 Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004.
“Let me seize this opportunity to inform you that we are making progress on investigation in the illegal arms importation. More arrests have been made and the CGC will be on the entourage of Mr. President to Turkey for sideline bilateral meeting with the Turkish Customs Authority. This is with the aim to permanently deal and put an end to such deadly importation coming from Turkey.
“NCS under the on-going reforms has continued to improve in all aspects, especially in the areas of suppression of smuggling. The idea that one can comply with laws of other countries and contravene Nigerian Laws on arrival here can no longer be tolerated.
“NCS will continue to contribute its quota to National economic development and security.
Finally, let me commend the media for your continuous support. NCS appreciates and will always count on you to inform and educate the general public on the activities of the Nigeria Customs Service.”