Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit, FOU, Zone C, Owerri has recorded another major breakthrough in its fight against smuggling activities in the country.
Customs Area Controller in charge of the unit, Comptroller Dimka Victor David, made this known yesterday to newsmen during the destruction of 5,364 cartons of imported frozen poultry products at the zonal headquarters, Owerri.
Carrying out the destruction in the presence of some officials of NESREA, NAFDAC and DSS in line with the recent launched “Operation Hawk Descend” to check the activities of smugglers of foreign frozen chicken, turkey and other poultry products by the Nigeria Customs Management, he said that four (4) suspects were arrested in connection with the illegally imported frozen poultry products.
He disclosed that another eight (8) suspects were nabbed for the smuggled vehicles adding that a total of fourteen (14) suspects are now in Customs net in connection with the recent contraband items seized.
According to him, all the items seized amounted to a total Duty Paid Value of four hundred and forty-one million, six hundred and eighty-five thousand, and nine hundred and sixty-eight naira (N441,685,968.00).
He gave a breakdown of the items confiscated to include, a total of 5,364 cartons of imported frozen poultry product (Chicken, turkey and gizzard) , with used Jacuzzi bathing tubes, rolls of black polythene nylon bags, and crates of woods lining the walls of the truck, to beat the eagle-eyed Customs officers.
The products, which were impounded along the Benin, Agbor and Bayelsa/Port-Harcourt axis between the wee hours of 13th and 14th August respectively, have a DPV of N89,338,400.00.
Continuing, he said that a total of 100 vehicles with fake documents were impounded along Benin express-way, Agbor-Asaba axis and Aba/Owerri highway with fifteen (15) being latest models of vehicles ranging from Toyota Camry (bulletproof car) 2015 model without End-user Certificate, six (6) Land Cruiser Prado, Land Cruiser VXR, Toyota Forerunner, Lexus LX 570 and M/Benz CLS 350, all 2014/2015 model worth N346,347,568.00.
Dimka, added that a total of 300 bags of 50kg rice with DPV of #6,000,000. 00 was equally seized by his officers at Ikom boarder in Cross River State, with two suspects involved in the shady deal. The suspects are helping the Customs in their investigations into the illegal importations of the seized items.
He observed that, smuggling of contraband goods has continued to damage the nation’s economy; and many families have been ruined as a result of the indulgence of some of their beloved ones in this obnoxious act.