Illegal Imports: NCS Intercepts Drugs, Rice, Other Goods Worth Over N869 Million

-by our correspondent.

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘C (FOU ‘C) has intercepted smuggled goods valued at Eight Hundred and Sixty Nine Million, Five Hundred and Fifty Thousand, Three Hundred and forty Five Naira (N869,550,345.00) in the month of January 2021.

A statement signed by the NCS Public Relations Officer, Jerry Attah, on behalf of the Comptroller FOU ‘C’, said the interception followed the command’s renewed strength and determination to fight smuggling within its areas of jurisdiction.

According to the statement, seized items include 1,024 cartons of unregistered pharmaceutical products, 1,046 bags of foreign parboiled rice of 50kg each, 290 cartons of imported Eva Soap, 62 jumbo bales of secondhand clothing, and one Toyota Corolla 2018 model.

“It’s our responsibility to ensure full implementation of the Government Policy banning the importation of rice through land borders and following headquarters directive on same, we re-strategized our operational modalities and beam our searchlight at the Creek, Water side, and at various locations in south-south, South East zones and hence the reason for the massive rice seizure within the month under review” the statement quoted Comptroller Yusus Lawal.

“More worrisome and of concern to us as an enforcement arm of the Service was the interception of the 1,024 cartons of unregistered brand of medicaments imported from India without NAFDAC certification. The negative effects of unlicensed drugs if gotten to the wrong hands cannot be over emphasized. Our concern now is to unravel those behind the importation, their accomplices and their antics of scaling through unapproved routes,” the statement read.

.According to the command, the drugs were intercepted along Ofosu-Benin Expressway while the 290 cartons of soap were intercepted along Aba-Owerri Road based on intelligence. “You may recall that Soaps and detergents are still on the Import Prohibition list, which falls under schedule 3 of Common External Tariff (CET)”

Comptroller Yusuf said the Unit will continue to make sure smugglers within its areas of jurisdiction are not allowed to continue with their illegal activities that could harm the nation’s economy. “Our resolute remains to degrade the activities of smugglers through aggressive patrol of all flanks and flashpoints, we will be very ruthless with these economic saboteurs because we have a responsibility to protect the nation’s economy in line with the expectations of the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

He appreciated the robust synergy that exists among the Military, the Police, other security agencies and the NCS operatives while commending members of the media for their continued support to inform, sensitize and educate the general public on the effects of smuggling to the nation’s economy.

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