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Customs FOU Zone’s New Boss, Oladeji Declares Seizures Worth N2B In A Month

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Comptroller Kola Oladeji, in charge of the Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit Zone A, has declared tougher days for smugglers who defy laws by bringing prohibited items into the country.

Comptroller Oladeji declared at the Unit’s headquarters during his maiden press briefing on Tuesday, 28 May 2024.

The Unit head revealed that, within one month of his assumption of office, “203 seizures were made worth a cumulative duty paid value (DPV) of N2,262,849,547, while 20 suspects were arrested in connection with some of the seized goods.

Notable among the items are 914 Jerry cans X 25litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) equivalent to 22,850 litres; 10,372 X 50kg bags of foreign parboiled rice; 27 units of imported used vehicles; 2,152 cartons of foreign frozen products; 6 units of imported used trucks; and 625kg of Cannabis sativa.

Oladeji stated that it will no longer be business as usual for smugglers.

His words, “This is just the beginning of tougher days for smugglers who try to defy our laws by bringing prohibited items into the country or attempting to underpay duty to the government, thereby undermining Nigeria Customs Service’s drive for maximum revenue collection.”

Comptroller Oladeji also revealed that the Unit also arrested a self-acclaimed Customs officer, who, until his arrest, had defrauded some of his unsuspecting victims.

“The suspect, Mr Benson Otu, claimed to be the officer in charge of rice auctioning. His arrest was made after some of his victims reported his illegal claims and activities.”

“Let me restate that we shall be unrelenting in effecting seizures of wares from smugglers and arresting suspects for prosecution under the Nigeria Customs Service Act, 2023. Showing these seizures is intended to discourage people from smuggling and similar crimes,” he added.

He further pledged the Unit’s support to genuine businessmen and women by helping to facilitate their trades and contributing to their efforts, which is adding value to the economy.

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