For the first half of this year, the Federal Operations Unit (FOU) of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), zone ‘C’ Owerri, confiscated 226 items with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N1.1billion.
Also within the period, 129 suspects were arrested in connection with alleged smuggling activities while 118 cases are pending in various courts within the zone.
A statement issued by the zone’s Public Relation Officer, Onuigbo Ifeoma, quoted the Customs Area Controller (CAC), Dimka Victor David as saying the month of March recorded the highest seizure of 63 with DPV of N337.3 million and 25 arrest.
He explained that the figure was at variance with 37 seizures with a DPV of N176.4 million made in January, 40 seizures with DPV of N136.7million in February, 37 seizures with DPV of N83.3million in April, 42 seizures with DPV of N141.2million in May and 47 seizures with DPV of N138.3million in June.
Shedding more light on the seizures made within the months in question, the Customs Area Controller who expressed concern at the persistent cases of smuggling in the country despite obvious stiff penalties for those arrested, listed 210 vehicles, 990 bales of textiles.
and second hand clothing, 126 packages of furniture and 296 bales of fairly used bags and suitcases worth N456.7million, N101.8million, N19.5million and N30.1million respectively.
Others are 3,905 used tyres amounting to N53.5million, 2,126 cartons of imported frozen poultry products, 1,731 bags of 50kg rice and juice worth N72, 000, among others.
While appealing to members of the public for corporation and support in the onslaught against smuggling, Dimka assured that the NCS is now better trained, equipped and transformed to meet its challenges.