Nigeria Customs seizes two helicopters, elephant tusks, other illegal imports

Bell Helicopters seized by Nigeria Customs [Photo credit: Instagram - @miss_atedze]

Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, on Friday said it had intercepted two helicopters and 23 consignments of accessories illegally imported into the country.

Dan Ugo, a Deputy Comptroller-General of Customs, told journalists in Lagos that the two helicopters and accessories, valued at N9.7 billion, were impounded at the Murtala Muhammad International Airport.

“The consignment was detained at SAHCOL cargo shed. Upon examination, the consignment was found to contain two civil models of Bell Helicopters 412 EP, with serial numbers 36608 and 36606.

“The consignment also contains 23 packages of accessories, weighing 11,475kg,” the customs boss said.

He said that the two helicopters and other accessories were seized because the importer could not provide End User Certificate from the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA).

Mr. Ugo said that the importer had contravened Section 36 (2) of Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA), Law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004.

According to him, the consignment, which was impounded on Nov. 7, 2016, had a Duty Paid Value of N9, 757,135,240.86 (N9.8 billion).

“This equipment was seized because the importer contravened the Customs Act.

“The Comptroller General of Customs, Retired Col. Hameed Ali, in appreciation of the roles of Air Force has directed that the equipment should be handed over to the Nigerian Air Force.

“When we make seizures, we go through legal process by approaching the court of competent jurisdiction to file for condemnation and forfeiture to the Federal Government of Nigeria, which had been done.

“This falls within the purview of the Nigerian Air Force which will put it to use maximally to protect us as a nation,” Mr. Ugo said.

He called for continuous synergy between the customs and other government agencies for the safety and security of the nation.

Mr. Ugo commended the customs officers who made the seizure and assured them of continued moral support from the customs service.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Hyacinth Eze, an air commodore, received the consignment on behalf of the Chief of Air Staff, Sadiq Abubakar.

Mr. Eze commended the Customs for a job well-done.

“The handing over of these helicopters by Nigerian Customs would go a long way to assist the force,” he said.

Mr. Eze said that the actual physical examination of the consignment would be done at Nigerian Air Force Base.

Also speaking, the Customs Area Controller, MMIA command, Comptroller Frank Allanah, said that the command generated N55.5 billion between January and December 2016, compared to N42.7 billion collected in the corresponding period of 2015.

Mr. Allanah said that the N12.8 billion increase in revenue was recorded in spite of decline in cargo throughput from 76.9 metric tonnes in 2015 to 64.63 metric tonnes in 2016.

He said that the command, in 2016, also made seizures of elephant tusks and foreign currencies.


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  • Rommel

    During the OBJ administration,a whole ship got missing and now,people are smuggling in helicopters,Nigerians,I hail una

    • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen


    • Teflonjones

      Importing helicopters is now a crime….. Primitive folks

      • Dede

        …just like a President going to lie on a sick bed in a foreign land every 6 months…or contesting elections without certificate…or not prosecuting terrorists or not identifying them by name. Nothing is a crime in Nigeria.

      • kinsly

        Importing without proper documentation is a crime.

      • Rommel

        What I detest are minds like yours which is so clouded in crass judgements while claiming semblance of knowledge,in a country with insurgent activities and security problems,your belief is that importation of helicopters without knowledge of who or what it is for should not be seen as worrisome even when ample time has been given for submission of the required documents,are you alright? which country would such thing be allowed?

        • Teflonjones

          Ok noted, now tell me which government finances and supports a genocide against its own people.

          • Rommel

            I think the problem with most of you is very poor understanding of English language which is why certain words get tossed around even more than a $2 whore, do you know what constitutes genocide?

          • Teflonjones

            Maybe having u shot dead in front of your wife and kids will amount to a righteous genocide to me. Terrorist

          • Rommel

            Like I said,having the ability to express oneself with english does not amount to understanding English language,reading your writings,it is clear that what you are doing is to simultaneously transliterate from your native language to English hoping that you would be understood to be communicating in English language,for this reason, I cannot be upset irrespective of what you say to me.

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          • Julius


    • obamajack2

      It was not smuggled, it had a duty paid of #9.7bn almost the amount it was bought. It was seized because the importer failed to obtain end users certificate from the office of NSA. To me it is a share wicked by the authority.

      • Rommel

        Thanks for the observation but it is not wickedness as you have indicated,these things should be looked at dispassionately,this seizure was done Nov 7 last year meaning whoever owns it had ample time to produce the required document and in a country with security challenges and insurgency,allowing importation of equipments like helicopters without knowing who is to use it or what it is for is scary don’t you think?

      • Zaks

        Does the term “duty paid value” indicate that customs duty was paid on the consignment? Come on guys don’t showcase ignorance here. Be educated first before opening your mouths.


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  • emmanuel

    There is a missing link somewhere. Nobody pays N9.7 billion in import duties and would not do the needful. Nigerians needs to get more details about this seizure.
    The fact that such huge amount is paid as duty, means that the Customs would have been invited to undertake thorough examination.
    However, if it turned out to be a non-disclosure issue, then the importer has paid the price of deceit

  • Tijani

    Nigerian authorities are covetous jokers. How did the importer process the customs duty without an end-user certificate? Forever grabbing citizens property and money, why didn’t they repatriate the helicopters to the seller and refund the duty? So they can take duty of billions with incomplete procedural adherence? Thieves

    • kinsly

      Repatriate? Are you for real? Try taking anything into any normal country without proper documentation and beg for repatriation?

  • Omomeji

    What is the name of the person(s) or company/companies that imported 2 Helicopters? Is this not a Northern politician buying helicopters for Islamic terrorists – Boko haram and/or Fulani herdsmen? Why can’t the importers be named? Freedom of information please!!! …………Oh, Nigerians miss President Jonathan. The translucency in this regime is sickening…and the media houses are neck deep in it. Imagine PT reporting the story and not asking questions about who this importer is. This is evil.

  • Rominiyis

    Legalize stealing ? Why are they quick to seize without providing answers to simple logical questions?
    Those entrusted with power by the people should used it wisely.
    The purpose should be determined and the importer made to pay fine if not found to be for criminal purpose. It may be a simple oversight. How many people are aware of clearance from NSA?.
    Are they weaponized? Helicopters are no longer a big deal, they are used as taxi in NYC. The fact that duties were paid on it shows it wasn’t hidden and therefore it may just be an oversight.

    • Powerlessconscious

      Is that how it is done in developed countries? To bend the law for the sake of rubbish purpose. I don’t know why Nigerians obey law abroad but like to disobey it in their own country? Of the UK border agency size an helicopter, will you tell them to start looking for the good purpose?

      • kinsly

        Please tell this idiots that Nigeria cannot be treated as a Banana republic. To all those criminals, we should allow people import anything without documentation.

        • Rominiyis

          Amazing level of ignorance. How is importantion of good become a crime. They paid duties and we’re missing a document that only required assessing penalty. That is why Nigeria Police and soldiers brutalized you guys. You so much don’t understand the danger of absolute power without control until they used it against you.

        • Rominiyis

          It belong to River state government. So by your careless use of legal words you don’t understand River State government is criminal.

      • Rominiyis

        It turn out they belong to River State government. What the law should be is assessing penalty for documentation error not taking properties. Power of government can be abused. When government use it this way. Remember that government exist to make your life better . Imagine when government said you are missing a document you are supposed to have then your property belong to us. No opportunity to obtain it with late penalty. That is abuse and draconian. Absolute power corrupt absolutely.

  • Analyst

    Everyday this government keep showing that it is difficult to do business in Nigeria. Someone must have been denied bribe after the payment of duty and then invoke end-user certificate. God will help Nigeria. Stealing from citizens and foreign investors. How can you celebrate what u stole from Nigeria. Maybe the person is either a PDP member or a perceived enemy from south south. There is no way this person is a muslim or a fulani.

    • kinsly

      So people should import all sorts of things illegally without proper documentation? That’s the kind of criminal country you advocate for your kids?

    • Julius

      Are you serious ? Should anybody be able to import anything to the country without proper papers ?. If that happens you will be on here ranting nonsense about how incompetent this government is and it’s all over for the country. C’on man.


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        • Julius

          Yeah, sure. Smdh !

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  • Rominiyis

    They belong to river state government.

  • Rominiyis

    This customs should be out there in the open unguarded border of the Norths were herdsmen and bandits just walk into Nigeria with Ak 47 killing citizen instead they congregate at Lagos airport and sea Port