The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has impounded 27 Toyota Hilux pick-up vans with N432 million duty paid value (DPV), which were suspected to have been smuggled into the country by some auto dealers.
The Deputy Comptroller-General (DCG) of Customs in-charge of Enforcement, Investigation and Inspection, Aminu Dangaladima, who disclosed this at a press briefing in Abuja on Friday, said that the vehicles were impounded from two open car stands along Kubwa Expressway in Abuja.
According to him, the Customs under the on-going reforms had continued to improve in all aspects, especially in the areas of suppression of smuggling. The vehicles, which have been moved to the NCS’ headquarters were seized following intelligence gathering.
He said, “On Wednesday, Oct. 10, based on credible intelligence, operatives of NCS Compliance Team went to two open car stands along Kubwa Expressway in FCT and evacuated 27 Toyota Hilux pick-up vehicles suspected to be smuggled into the country. ”
Putting the Duty Paid Value (DPV) of the vehicles at over N432 million, the DCG said: “We (Customs) 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. “For the avoidance of doubt, what we are doing is in-line with the provisions of Section 147 of Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) Cap 45, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria,2004 (power to search premises).
“Section 154 CEMA, Cap 45 Laws of Federation of Nigeria (power to patrol freely). It must be understood that being in possession of smuggled items is an offense under Section 3 of Customs and Excise (special penal and other provision) Act Cap 47 Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004,” he added.
The DCG noted that the NCS was making progress on investigations in illegal arms importation, adding some arrests had been made.
The Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd), he stated, would be in the entourage of President Minammadu Buhari to Turkey for sideline bilateral meeting with the Turkish Customs Authority. According to him. “This is with the aim to permanently deal and put an end to such deadly importation coming from Turkey.”