Nigeria Customs confiscates smuggled vehicles valued at N1.3 billion

The confiscated vehicles
File photo of confiscated vehicles by the Nigeria Customs Service

The Nigeria Customs Service has confiscated 64 vehicles valued at over N1.3 billion during a raid at Omole Estate and Lekki Phase 1 in Lagos.

Three bulletproof sport utility vehicles were among the vehicles seized based on lack of End Users Certificate (EUC), the Customs said.

The Federal Operations Unit, Zone A, Lagos, led by Mohammed Uba, on Wednesday said nobody had come to claim ownership of the vehicles two weeks after the seizure.

“On assumption of office, I promised that on a monthly basis, I will bring to your notice of our activities,” Mr. Uba said.

“We have intercepted 64 vehicles, among which 59 are brand new. To prove to you that they were smuggled, the owners are at large.”

This seizure is coming barely a month after the agency, acting on intelligence reports, intercepted 59 bulletproof vehicles hidden in a house in Ikoyi, Lagos.

The Customs comptroller said the new seizures were made through another intelligence report.

“The vehicles were evacuated based on intelligence along Omole Estate, Ojodu, and Olayiwola Close, Lekki Phase One.

The remaining seven were intercepted while on information patrol along Ijebu Ode expressway and Olorunda, he added.

“Our legal unit has already been mandated to investigate it and as soon as we get any head way about the owners or their agents, we will let the public know.”

In other seizures made within same month under review, 13,333 bags of 50kg of parboiled foreign rice were seized.

The rice, according to the Unit, with duty paid value of 164,449,888.65, was smuggled into the country.

“We need to support the federal government policy on rice, encourage local farmers, the millers and patronise our own nutritional rice,” Mr. Uba said.

Other seizures, according to the customs, were 835 jerrycans of vegetable oil, 15 parcels of Indian Hemp, 1,101,used tyres and 205 bales of used clothing.

“The duty paid values for all the intercepted items are N1,595,141,144.81,” Mr. Uba revealed.

As enshrined in the customs extant law, vehicles and rice were banned coming into the country land borders.

While refined vegetable oil are also prohibited. “Oil in refined form is not allowed into the country. What is allowed is vegetable oil in crude form.

Reason is that, it will undergo further processing here and that will give our fellow Nigerians employment opportunity,” he concluded.

In connection to the seizures made, five suspects were paraded. The unit posited that the suspects would be handed to appropriate authority for prosecution.

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