The Nigeria Customs Service has disclosed that it has intercepted a rice vehicle conveying 5,200 live ammunitions (cartridges of 30GR 70mm Calibre) along Nwezenyi Ikom Road in Cross River State and other various contraband with a duty paid value (DPV) of N378,751,935.00 between November 23rd to December 27th 2020.
Aside from ammunition and contraband, the service also disclosed that it recovered N7,557,731.00 from demand notices on general goods that tried to cut corners from seaports in the guise of false declaration, transfer of value, and shortchange in duty payment that is meant for the Federal Government purse.
The Comptroller, Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘C’ Owerri, Yusuf Lawal, said that the recovery on the general goods during the period under review accumulated to N386,309,666.00 making it a landslide in recent times.
While briefing journalists in Owerri, Imo State Capital, the Comptroller said that rising incidents of arms and ammunition smuggling had been a major concern for the service, particularly with the nation’s insecurity situation.
He added that the 5,200 live ammunition cartridges (30GR 70mm Calibre) which was concealed with other goods and household items in a passenger Toyota Sienna with reg no: DKA 237 DW were intercepted on the 13th of December 2020 along Nwezenyi Ikom Road Cross River, based on credible and timely intelligence.
“Only God knows what would have happened if these cartridges get to its destination unchecked, considering the fragile security of the nation from armed robbery, kidnapping, banditry and insurgency,” he said.
Lawal stated that the seized ammunitions fall under schedule 4 of the Common External Tariff, which its importation is absolutely prohibited.
“Other seized items include 1,215 bags of foreign parboiled rice 50kg each mostly concealed in bags of beans, maize and groundnut seeds all with the aim of deceiving our officers, 38 Jumbo bales of used clothing, 204 cartons of imported tomatoes and four used exotic vehicles including one new bulletproof Toyota Landcruiser 2019 model (without end-user certificate), two Toyota Hilux 2016 and 2015 respectively, one Mercedes Benz ML350 2015, and other controlled pharmaceutical products at various locations. Three suspects were arrested in connection with these different seizures,” the Comptroller said.