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Economy

Customs intercept N1.2b cannabis on Lagos waters

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Operatives of the Western Marine Command of Nigeria Customs Service(NCS) have intercepted drugs suspected to be Cannabis Sativa valued at N1,002,050,000 during a seagoing patrol on Lagos waters.

The Controller of the command, Comptroller Olugboyega Peters, revealed this in a statement in Lagos on Thursday.

Peters described the seizure as the “largest single seizure” of such drug on the waters in the history of the Nigeria Customs.

He said that his men relied on intelligence and carried out round the clock surveillance for a period of three days before swooping on the target area where the seizure was made.

According to him, the suspected smugglers seen from afar with the drugs dived into water to escape upon sighting customs officers approaching to make the seizure.

“The drugs were suspected to be coming from Ghana and had passed other countries by water before getting to Shashi area of Lagos where it was seized.

“Since no suspect was arrested in connection with the seizure, it will be liable to destruction in collaboration with relevant government agencies like National Drug Law Enforcement Agency and the Nigeria Police,” he said.

Peters said that the command had achieved 39 seizures within the first four months of the year, which is higher than 12 seizures made within the same period of 2019.

He said that the command made seizures with a total duty paid value of N1,063,427,800 which was higher than DPV of N36,420,481.46 achieved within the same period of last year.

He listed the breakdown of the 2020 seizures made so far as 1,816 bags of rice valued at N38,134,375; 733 cartons of poultry products worth N7,421,625; and 104 bales of second hand clothing worth N4,393,400.

The also include 665 bales of textile materials worth N2,094,400 and 112 kegs of 25 litre petroleum products valued at N112,000.

Other seizures listed are, 25 bales of second hand shoes and belts worth N8,019,000; 25 cartons of chewing gum worth N1,203,000 and the unprecedented seizure of cannabis

The Comptroller attributed the seizure recorded to the renewed spirit of work amongst officers and men of the command to achieve the Comptroller General of Customs strategic plan of zero tolerance to smuggling.

He also attributed it to high level of intelligence gathering and enhanced customs community relations.

Peters said this was in addition to close collaboration with other government agencies like the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Nigerian Navy, Nigeria Police, among others.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

 

Chiazo Ogbolu: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

Defence/Security

Oyo/Osun command of Customs generates N20bn, makes 72 seizures

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The Oyo/Osun Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on Tuesday said it generated N20 billion and made 72 seizures between January and April.

The Comptroller in charge of the command, Mrs Uche Ngozi, disclosed this in Ibadan while briefing newsmen on the achievements recorded in  the first quarter of 2020.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the seized items included 3,465 bags of 50kg foreign rice, 180 bales of second hand clothings ,13 kg of 25 litres each of vegetable oil, 44 gallons of four litres of vegetable oil, 20 units of used tyres as well as cars and trucks.

The comptroller further said that 63 persons were arrested in connection with the smuggled goods.

She said that the command also intercepted  310 drums and 180 kegs of 25 litres of petrol at different points and axis of the command.

The seized petrol, she said, would be auctioned and the proceeds remitted accordingly.

“We are aware that NCS is very strategic in the sustenance of the nation’s economy at this critical stage of economic down turn, hence maximum revenue generation is paramount in the heart of the  NCS Comptroller General, retired Col. Hameed Ali.

“It is a fact that the fight against smuggling of prohibited items is so essential in reducing the menace of insecurity  and saving our nation’s industries.

“As a service, we are concerned about the general well-being of the nation at large  and as such regret the current  health crisis of coronavirus pandemic

NCS has worked tirelessly  through these difficult months of dealing with COVID-19 and ensured that borders are secured and smuggling activities reduced to the barest minimum,” she said.

The comptroller said the command would continue to sharpen its intelligence  and enforcement capabilities to fight smuggling and enforce compliance with extant laws and procedures.

She commended traditional rulers, community leaders and other stakeholders for providing an enabling environment for the officers to function properly.

(
Edited By: Edith Bolokor/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)

 

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Economy

Customs operations hinders ease of doing business, says NECA

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The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) says incessant obstruction caused by the Nigeria Customs Service are hindering the ease of doing business by the manufacturing companies.

Its Director-General, Mr Timothy Olawale, said in a statement on Monday that such act was jeopardising the Federal Government’s efforts at promoting ease of doing business in Nigeria.

Olawale said: “This is the time when all hands must be on deck to promote local enterprise competitiveness and prevent jobs losses.

“It is a known fact that the world economy is on the precipice with nations doing all that is necessary to keep their productive sector going.

“Recent incessant issues with the Nigeria Customs Service have become worrisome as it has the potential to push businesses off the cliff.

“This will fast-track the demise of more enterprises and exacerbating the current unemployment situation in Nigeria,” he said.

The director-general urged the Federal Government to call men of the custom services to order.

He said that Customs operatives were obstructing legitimate businesses through inconsistent and arbitrary tariff classification, excessive and unfriendly duty rate on key raw materials without local substitute.

Olawale said that other blockages include improper valuation of consignments and reckless interception of containers after legitimate clearance, among others.

He said: “While the Customs Service is desirous of meeting its revenue target, it should not be at the expense of legitimate businesses.

“With the Africa Continental Free Trade Area coming into effect Jan. 1, 2021, these recurring issues will only destroy Nigerian businesses.

“It will also make importation of manufactured goods more attractive with grave consequences for Nigeria and Nigerians as a whole.”

————-

Edited By: Olawunmi Ashafa/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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Economy

Customs Command at Tin-Can Port generates N117.8bn revenue in 4 months

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Tin-Can Island Port Command, Lagos, generated N117.8 billion between January and April 2020, by deploying Time Release Study (TRS) tool to aid trade facilitation and revenue generation.

The Customs Area Controller (CAC), Comptroller Musa Abdullahi, made this known in Lagos on Friday in a statement signed by the command’s Public Relations Officer, Mr Uche Ejesieme.

Abdullahi said that the tool had enabled the command to generate the revenue in the first quarter of the year.

According to him, the Time Release Study tool was beefed up for strategic planning in determining the actual time required for the release and clearance of goods, right from the time of arrival to physical release from Customs’ Control.

Abdullahi said that Time Release Study was a strategic tool that was capable of identifying bottlenecks in the trade value chain and creating an enabling environment for effectiveness and efficiency in operations.

“It is on the strength of this and other parameters that the command generated a total of N117, 839, 418, 332.16 between January and April in spite of the global pandemic which has posed a great challenge.

“The figure is against the sum of N106,644,643,917.25 generated same period in 2019, reflecting a difference of N11,194,774,414.91,’’ he said.

The controller responded to issues bothering on challenges amidst the COVID-19.

He reiterated the readiness of the command to ensure adherence and compliance with the extant protocols by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and World Health Organisation (WHO) toward containing the spread of the virus.

Abdullahi noted that prior to the declaration of the virus as a pandemic disease, the command had conducted series of seminars and awareness campaign, targeted at sensitising the officers/men as well as stakeholders on measures to adopt in dealing with the menace.

According to him, these measures will be sustained even after the postCOVID-19 era.

“Even at the onset of this pandemic when pressure, anxiety and general apprehension was the order of the day, the command demonstrated resilience, sagacity and compassion in its approach to the novel pandemic.

“Such that tension was reduced from the psyche of the operatives with confidence inspired that enabled them to attend to their functions without let or hindrance.

“With this pandemic, the command will upscale her sensitisation on the need for Nigerians to fully take advantage of the operations in export trade, especially at this moment when it has become compelling for diversification of the economy for national development,” the controller said.

Abdullahi said that with the Time Release Study tool, the command had generated statistical data on the actual time declarations were made, up till the time of release from Customs’ Control.

He noted that it was on the basis of this that the command realised that the NCS was only involved in two major functions in the Trade Value Chain – Examination and Release of Cargo from Customs’ Control.

He pointed out that the commitment of the command necessitated the need to work assiduously toward ensuring that all operational bottlenecks were removed from the value chain for effectiveness and efficiency in accordance with global standards.

“The command will continue to support and encourage the culture of compliance with fiscal and monetary policies, while also rewarding compliant traders.

“We have developed a framework and different layers for channelling of official complaints, including the Help Desk for speedy resolution of trade disputes.

“Efforts are also being made to ensure continuous `Stakeholder Engagement’ and collaboration for the actualisation of the joint responsibilities of creating a friendly business environment that will encourage trade and investments as well as boost the morale of stakeholders,” Abdullahi said.

The controller noted that in spite of the few challenges mitigating against performance, the command would not `let its guards down’ in the pursuance of its official mandate.

He appreciated the support and counsel from the Customs management led by Retired Col. Hameed Ali and his management.

The controller applauded the renewed enthusiasm of the officers and men which was reflected in the operational profile of the command.

He commended heads of security and regulatory agencies in the port for their consistent efforts in supporting the command in realising its statutory mandate.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

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Economy

Customs seizes 1,553 smuggled items worth N17.6bn in Q1

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has seized 1,553 various smuggled items of Duty Paid Valued at N17.6 billion in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020 across all its commands.

This is made known in a statistics obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria from the Customs’ Public Relations Officer, Mr Joseph Attah, in Abuja on Thursday.

It explained that in January, 465 different contraband items worth N2.5 billion duty paid were seized.

According to the statistics, 659 items of duty paid valued at N14.5 billion were seized in February across all the Customs’ commands.

It stated that in March, 429 various seized smuggled items worth N545.8 million were also confiscated by officers and men of the service.

Attah assured that the service would sustain its anti-smuggling operations and support activities at boosting non-oil revenue for national development.

Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Defence/Security

Customs command in Kwara generates N1.6bn in 3 months

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The Kwara Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service on Wednesday said it generated N1.69 billion in three months.

The figure was released in a statement signed by Mr Zakari Chado, the Public Relations Officer of the Kwara Area Command, and made available to newsmen in Ilorin.

Chado said that the command had been uncompromising on its mandate of enforcing legitimate trade and trade facilitation among local industries.

He also said that the command had encouraged stakeholders to make prompt payment of import and excise duties to the federation account.

“The Kwara Area Command under the leadership of Comptroller Ahmed Bello generated the sum of N1, 696, 018, 694 at the end of first quarter, despite the lull occasioned by the Coronavirus pandemic,” he said in the statement.

The spokesman further said that the amount generated represented 21 percent of the command’s annual target of N8,038, 000, 000.

“The breakdown of the amount generated monthly is January – N1, 006, 901, 647, February – N332, 272, 223 and March – N365, 844, 823, which sum up to N1, 696, 018, 694.

“Comptroller Ahmed is also vigorously pursuing the Comptroller General of Customs’ zero tolerance for duty evasion and smuggling

” He has been reviving proficiency with regards to identifying and blocking all possible avenues of revenue leakages and enhancing capacity building in the areas of modern customs operation,” he said.

He added that the comptroller had been reinforcing the commitment of officers and men in the discharge of their statutory responsibilities and ensuring disciplinary actions were taken against erring personnel.

Chado also stated that there would be continuous sensitisation of stakeholders on the need to comply with extant laws governing customs and excise activities.

(
Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)

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Economy

Customs intercepts vehicle smuggling poultry products into Ogun, N12.7bn worth contraband – Q1 Report

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The Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), has intercepted a vehicle with COVID-19 sticker used to smuggled frozen chicken from Benin Republic into the country.

The Customs Area Controller (CAC) of the unit, Usman Yahaya, disclosed this in a statement by the Public Relations Officer, Mr Jerry Attah, in Lagos on Tuesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the FOU A is the anti-smuggling arm of the Nigeria Customs Service, and it is saddled with the responsibility of suppressing smuggling in the six states of the South-West.

The area controller said that its officers intercepted the vehicle, which was travelling under the guise of essential duty, smuggling cartons of frozen chicken into the country from Benin Republic.

He said that the vehicle was arrested along Ijebu-Ode Expressway.

“The vehicle was intercepted based on intelligence and the eagle eye of officers who were on routine patrol at the axis.

The officers were professional enough to intercept the vehicle,  which was believed to be used in the movement of essential commodities, but were surprised to see that it was used for illegal activities such as movement of contraband.

“We have arrested the vehicle and investigation has commenced to get to the root and unravel other atrocities that may have been committed using the essential duty tag,” the controller said.

However, speaking on the activities of the command in the first quarter of the year, the CAC said contraband worth N12.7 billion were intercepted from smugglers between January to April 2020.

According to him, the unit paid N1.14 billion into the Federal Government’s Treasury Single Account from Debit Notes (DN) on intercepted containers from Lagos Seaports, voluntary payment of customs duty on vehicles, auction sales from PMS among others.

Giving a breakdown of the seizures, Yahaya said that 25 units of fairly used vehicles worth N108 million, 5,644 cartons of frozen chicken worth N54.1 million were intercepted in the first quarter of the year.

Others, he listed as: 9,843 bags of 50kg smuggled parboiled rice worth N130.4 million and sacks of textile materials worth N94 million were all seized in the period under review.

The FOU boss added that N14 million worth of used tyres, 3,764 kegs of smuggled vegetables oil worth N69.2 million, and 8,365 litres of smuggled Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as Petrol and Diesel also known as AGO worth N35 million were seized.

He said that the unit would not relent on its anti-smuggling fight, especially at this time when the government was preaching diversification into the agricultural sector due to the fall in price of oil in the international market.

“We will ensure that smuggling is reduced to the barest minimum and we will not allow it to fester as that can be injurious to our economy and wellbeing as a country,” Yahaya said.

Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare/Felix Ajide (NAN)

 

 

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Foreign

Dubai, Saudi customs discuss stronger trade amid COVID-19 outbreak

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Dubai Customs and Saudi Customs on Tuesday agreed on further trade cooperation and arrangements to develop customs procedures in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the official WAM news agency reported.

In a video meeting between Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, director general of Dubai Customs, and Ahmed Alhakbani, governor of Saudi Customs, they discussed lessons from the coronavirus experience which has led to coming up with innovative customs approaches and procedures.

Mutual trade between Dubai and Saudi Arabia reached 12 billion UAE dirhams (3.27 billion U.S. dollars) in the first quarter in 2020, said the report.

“Our regular meetings with customs organizations in brotherly and friendly countries are part of our endeavors to mitigate any impacts of coronavirus on the global supply chain,” said Musabih.

(XINHUA)

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General news

Petrol marketers decry alleged extortion by Customs in Badagry

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The Association of Petroleum Marketers in Badagry, Lagos State, on Wednesday decried alleged extortion by officials of Nigeria Customs Service in the area.

Alhaji Abdul-Ganiyu Adelani, Chairman of the association, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Badagry that extortion by the customs men was affecting the running of their businesses in the area.

According to him, different teams of customs men from Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘A’ Command,Ikeja, are in the habit of visiting petrol stations in Badagry, demanding for money and operating license.

“They will disguise under Joint Border Patrol, threatening to seal your filling stations if you don’t cooperate with them.

“After you have filled up their hillux pick up with petrol, they will be demanding between N200,000 and N300,000 if not, they will threaten to seal your station over alleged fuel smuggling.

“Some of them will come and be checking your books and station as if they are from Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR); at the end, they will be demanding for money,” he said.

Adelani said that many petrol marketers in the area had ran out of business due to the activities of the customs officials.

“Everybody knows that we are collecting loans from banks to do this business and when we cannot pay back our loans due to excesses of customs officials, the station will be shutdown,” he said.

Adelani appealed to the Federal Government to wade into the matter before marketers in Badagry ran out of business, adding that not all marketers in Badagry were smugglers.

Reacting to the allegation, Mr Jerry Attah, Spokesman for Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘A’ Ikeja, however, denied the allegation of extortion by officials of the zone.

According to him, there is no report of such allegation from any of the petroleum marketers submitted or brought to their office.

Attah said the zone would set up a team to investigate the allegations, urging the marketers to write directly to the command.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

 

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Foreign

Vietnamese customs seize over 18 kg of drugs sent from abroad

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The customs officers of Vietnam’s southern Ho Chi Minh City have seized over 18 kg of synthetic drugs and cannabis via express parcel delivery services, Vietnam News Agency reported on Tuesday.

Upon examining 16 suspicious parcels sent from Europe to Vietnam, the customs office of the city in coordination with relevant authorities found and seized over 18 kg of synthetic drug, 124 grams of cocaine, 458 grams of cannabis which were hidden in envelopes, sweet bags and carton packages.

All parcels have either fake addresses or no recipient in the bill of lading, the news agency reported.

They are worth an estimate of 60 billion Vietnamese dong (2.6 million U.S. dollars).

Local authorities are investigating the case.

According to the Vietnamese law, those convicted of smuggling over 600 grams of heroin or more than 2.5 kg of methamphetamine are punishable by death. Making or trading 100 grams of heroin or 300 grams of other illegal drugs also faces death penalty.

(XINHUA)

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Defence/Security

Customs says 1,800 bags of rice released to Oyo sound

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The Nigeria Customs Service, Oyo and Osun Command, says the 1,800 bags of rice released as palliative to the Oyo State government is good for human consumption.

This was in response to the claim by Oyo State Government that the rice released to it by the command were infected and not good for human consumption.

An aide to Gov. Seyi Makinde on Agricbusiness, Dr Debo Akande on Friday, alleged that the rice given through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and released by customs were infected with weevils.

However, ASC1 Abdullah Lagos, the Command Public Relations Officers, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday in Ibadan that 6,000 bags of rice were given to Oyo, Ekiti, Osun and Ondo States.

He said that only Oyo State claimed that the 1,800 bags of rice released to them were infected and not good for consumption.

Lagos said that the claim by the Oyo state government was not fair and the command suspected a foul play.

“Representatives of Oyo, Ekiti and Osun states excluding that of Ondo were on ground together with representatives of Humanitarian Affairs to inspect the rice in our warehouse twice on Monday.

“Oyo state came to evacuate their rice on Tuesday and everybody was there, if the rice was not good as they claimed, all of us should be able to see it right there.

“In the process of evacuating, some fell down and tore and no weevil or any other insect came out of it.

“Oyo state even selected the rice they wanted themselves. Of all the states that collected the rice only Oyo state is saying all the 1,800 bags of rice given to them are infected.

“The rice we gave out are not infected and are fit for human consumption and we cannot give out infected rice,” Lagos said.

He said that the command would not receive any bad rice from anybody that wanted to return it because it could not join the bad rice with the good ones in their warehouse.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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General news

Customs FOU  Zone ‘B’ arrests 7 suspects, seizes goods worth N1bn in Q1

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The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) Federal Operation Unit (FOU) Zone ‘B’ said it seized various goods with Duty Paid Value (DPV) worth  N1 billion in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020.

The Comptroller of the FOU Zone ‘B’, Mr Mustafa Sarkin-Kebbi, said this on Wednesday in Kaduna, while briefing newsmen on the zone’s activities for the period under review.

He said the zone arrested seven smuggling suspects within the period in connection with the various seizures that summed up to 307.

Giving a breakdown of the total seizures in the first quarter he said a total of 4,045 bags of parboiled rice, 1,416 kegs of Vegetable oil, 1,915 cartons of Spaghetti and 920 bales of Textile materials were seized.

Others includeed 96 units of vehicles,  322 bales of second hand clothing, 17 units of motorcycle, 240 parcels of marijuana and other sundry goods.

“Seven suspects were arrested in connection with the 307 seizures with Duty paid Value of N788,683,150.00 within the first quarter,” he said.

He disclosed that some of the seizures were made during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, adding that the arrested suspects would be prosecuted on completion of ongoing investigation.

Sarkin-Kebbi further disclosed that the suspects tried to beat the water tight security at the border check points by concealing the foreign parboiled bags of rice in trucks carrying bags of maize,  beans, water melons and tiger nuts among others.

The seizures, he said, were made at border towns of Kebbi, Katsina, Kano as well as the hinterlands of Zamfara State.

He appealed to the public to report any suspicious movement of trucks and saboteurs whose smuggling activities were inimical to the nation’s economy.

The Comptroller  similarly disclosed that some suspects were arrested and granted administrative bail in connection with some of the seizures, while investigation was continuing.

According to him,  smuggling of goods such as parbioled foreign rice has reduced drastically but notes that his personnel from the intelligent units are also not relenting in taming smugglers’ activities.

Sarkin-Kebbi gave the assurance that the FOU of the zone would not relent in ensuring that activities of smugglers within the zone were brought to a stand still.

He, however,  called for collaboration of the public to voluteer useful information that would assist the unit in the discharge of its duties.

HUM/

Edited By: Kevin Okunzuwa/Donald Ugwu (NAN)

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Foreign

Cameroon customs seizes 210 cartons of fake chloroquine

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Cameroon customs on Tuesday seized 210 cartons of fake anti-malaria medication chloroquine in Ngaoundere, chief town of the mountainous region of Adamawa.

Thousands of fake tablets were almost smuggled into the country through neighbouring Nigeria.

Cameroon customs was alerted by the World Customs Organisation when the cargo vehicle carrying the fake medication was returning from Nigeria. The driver was stopped for identity and document checks but failed to provide marketing authorisation and a technical visa for the tablets, said Epoh Mbappe, a senior customs official, adding that those transporting the drugs have been remanded in custody.

Officials said Cameroon has seen a rise in the production and proliferation of fake chloroquine, as people rush to obtain the anti-malaria drug in the unproven belief it can prevent the infection of COVID-19.

Last week, health authorities in the country announced they had shut down six pharmaceutical companies that were producing and selling counterfeit drugs.
(XINHUA)

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Economy

Customs seizes 1,000 bags of foreign rice in Adamawa

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The Nigeria Customs Services says it has seized no less than 1,000 bags of smuggled foreign rice stockpiled in a residential apartment in Gombi town in Adamawa.

 

Mr Kamardeen Olumoh, the Customs Controller in-charge of Adamawa and Taraba states, said  this on Tuesday in Gombi.

 

Olumoh said that despite the COVID-19 pandemic and total border closure, some unpatriotic Nigerians  are still engaging in smuggling.

 

He said the smuggled rice were  concealed in a residential apartment in Gombi town, adding that the provider of the apartment would also face the wrath of the law.

 

“We appeal to community leaders to warn their wards against providing their residence for storage of smuggled goods as such action equally amounted to smuggling.

 

“It is five years’ imprisonment without option of fine under Section 47 of  the Custom Act for violators” Olumoh said

 

 

He said that the owner of the residence, who had escaped, would soon be arrested to face the wrath of the law.

Edited By: Joe Idika/Peter Dada (NAN)

 

 

 

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Economy

Lockdown: Seme Customs impound contraband worth N77m in 1 month

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In spite of the border closure to contain spread of Coronavirus, the Seme Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has seized contraband with Duty Paid Value of over N77 million in the last one month.

 

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Nigeria-Benin Republic border was shut on March 21 following the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country.

 

The Acting Customs Area Controller at the border, Mr Chedi Wada, told NAN in Seme on Tuesday that 95 suspected smugglers were arrested over the seizures.

 

He said that the contraband included 686 bags of imported 50kg rice, 259 cartons of frozen poultry products, over 360 sacks of textile materials and many other general merchandise goods.

 

According to the Seme Customs boss, the smuggled goods have a total Duty Paid Value of N77, 867,771.

 

Chedi said that one of the challenges confronting the customs was the wrong notion by border communities who saw smuggling as their birthright.

 

Mr Chedi Wada, Acting Controller of Customs, Seme Command

 

“It is unfortunate that people in the border communities see the customs as their enemy when we try to stop these smuggling activities.

 

“Luckily, through their traditional rulers, we have been able to do a lot of sensitization programmes to enlighten them on evil of smuggling,” he said.

 

Wada said that the command had neutralized some of illegal routes where smugglers used to perpetrate their smuggling activities.

 

“We are also at the beach because smugglers have now device method of smuggling across the sea,” he said.

 

Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Economy

Customs clears air on alleged attempt to ‘smuggle’ vegetable oil

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Apapa Command, has made a clarification on an alleged attempt to ‘smuggle’ from the Apapa Port, vegetable oil loaded in three trucks.

Mrs Nkeiruka Nwala, Deputy Superintendent of Customs and Public Relations Officer of the command, said that the vegetable oil was directed by the presidency to be released as palliatives due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

She made the clarification  in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Sunday.

She said that customs found it strange for the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to detain the trucks, asking for documentation which, she noted, was not part of its duties.

“NPA is the landlord and has concessioned  what it  does to its tenants at the port,” she said.

According to the official, NPA does not account for any container, but provides supervisory role to its concessionaires.

“As far as custody of containers is concerned in Nigerian ports, for example in Apapa –  the APM Terminal, the ENL Consultium, the Greenfield, the Dangotes –  all of them are custodians of imports coming into their own territories.

“The three trucks of oil are the ones directed by the presidency to be released as palliatives –  two given to the Lagos State Government and one to Ogun State Government.

“The minister for Humanitarian Affairs made an open handover which was covered by the media and she gave customs a directive that, as the state governments make their arrangements, they will be coming to evacuate the items already given to them;  those  were the three trucks that came to the port.

“The trucks had  a banner with inscriptions  – Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, COVID-19 Palliative; two trucks had Lagos State on it while the remaining truck had Ogun State on it, and they were escorted by a team led by a major in the Nigerian Army.

“We were really surprised at the allegation of smuggling out the trucks from the port,” she said.

Nwala said that on daily basis  at least, a thousand trucks got cleared through the port, adding that as far as clearing process and documentation of customs clearance were concerned, NPA had no role to play.

She said that  records of seized goods, were always sent to customs headquarters and the goods automatically belonging  to the Federal Government.

She told NAN that  there would not be any release of such goods   without a directive from the government.

“The major came to the command with documents to collect the items and we gave him papers to go to APM Terminal to pick the items.

“We only got to know what was happening when we saw that NPA stopped them at the gate, the major presented all the documents and they were still arguing,

“It was at that point that they called us and we came to explain who they were,” she said.

NAN reports that on April 16, port activities were disrupted following an alleged attempt by Nigeria Customs Service  to exit three trucks loaded with vegetable oil out of Apapa Port, without  required papers.

The goods were  laden on trucks with registration numbers JJJ 90XQ, KTU495XR and NSR 87 YJ.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Ijeoma Popoola (NAN)

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Economy

Q1: Customs seize contraband valued N249.9m in Seme

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On the recent approval given nine filling stations in border communities to lift petroleum products, Wada said the Joint Border Patrol team had met them and warned them against  sharp practices.

“On our own, we have a patrol team that will follow the products to the station and take inventory and report back.

“At the same time,  we have another patrol team that is on ground 24 hours to check all the filling stations.

“Any of them that is found selling inside jerry can or involved in any sharp practice, the station will be sealed up and its licence will be revoked.

“We have told them and they all agreed,” he said.

On COVID-19 pandemic, Wada said that several measures had been put in place to sensitise his officers, including area synergy with Port Health Services and headquarters medical team.

“The command has received protective items, we have educated our officers on regular washing of hands, usage of face masks and strict adherence to  social distancing rules,” he said.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

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General news

Lockdown: Customs seizes smuggled rice, beans worth N12.7m in Kano

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Kano/Jigawa Command, has seized smuggled rice and beans worth over N12.7 million in Kano State.

Mr Isa Danbaba, the Pubic Relations Officer of the command, made the disclosure in a statement on Thursday in Kano.

“In spite of the outbreak of Coronavirus and the subsequent measures put in place by the Federal and State Governments in the form of lockdown and closure of entry points, it is unfortunate that desperate smugglers take advantage of the situation and engage in devising all possible methods to try to smuggle rice into Kano.

“This is demonstrated by the seizure made on April 15, 2020; by the operatives of the NCS Kano/Jigawa Command of 295 bags of foreign parboiled rice of 50 kilogramme each, concealed in 351 bags of beans.

“The Duty Paid Value (DPV) of the seized rice is N6, 603,870:00 and N 6,000,741:00 for beans.

“The total amount of the seized items is N12, 704, 611. The seizure was made between Dawakin Tofa-Dawanau-Katsina Road,’’ he said.

According to him, the Customs Area Comptroller, Nasir Ahmed, warns smugglers to keep away from Kano, adding that officers and men are ready to hit the ground running at all times.

Edited By: Johnson Eyiangho/Rabiu Sani Ali (NAN)

 

 

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General news

Customs confiscates Volkswagen golf stocked with 59kg of cannabis

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Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said it has intercepted a Volkswagen Golf 3 car with Reg no. ABC 45 LP laden with 5 bags of suspected cannabis in Kaduna.

Baba Kolobe, the Deputy Comptroller in charge of  Northern zone and  Assistant Comptroller Customs, Shuibu Salisu who represented

National Coordinator, Zone B of the Customs Strike Force,

 told newsmen on Wednesday in Kaduna

Kolobe said that the suspect was arrested through intelligence gathering.

According to him, a  team of  officers acting on a tip-off intercepted the car and its driver, Abubakar Aminu at Kwana Agishi village Giwa LGA of Kaduna State on April 8.

Kolobe said that on interrogation, the driver said that he was on his way to Batsari in Katsina State to deliver the 59kg of cannabis.

The driver, however, said he was hired by one Dan Maliki who jumped into the bush on sighting the officers.

 “This is the third time l am  being chartered to carry Indian hemp; first to Dayye and second to Dandume,” he said.

The NCS officials handed over the five bags and the suspect to officials of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in line with inter-agency collaborations

Salisu said while handing over the exhibit that the fight against illicit drugs would be achieved through collective efforts.

“All hands must be on deck to ensure we stop this evil trade; inter-agency synergy is helpping to reduce the menace of incessant drugs infiltration and proliferation into the country and its dire consequences to the general populace especially, the youths,” he said.

He noted that the nation’s porous borders was a great challenge to tackling the menace of smuggling.

While receiving the items, Mr Posalmwang Jangdul, NDLEA Assistant Comptroller Narcotic,

thanked the customs team for the efforts and sought for more inter agency collaboration. 

“We believe that with this synergy, we will go along way to sanitizer the country and make Nigeria drug free, w

e appreciate you and thank you wonderfully for what you have done,” he said.

 

Edited By: Angela Okisor/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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Defence/Security

Customs distributes relief items to IDPs in North East

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The Nigeria Customs Service, Kwara Command, has distributed some relief materials to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in Yobe, North East region.

The service said the measure was in compliance with the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari to cushion the effect of Coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown.

This is contained in a statement signed by the National Public Relation Officer of Customs, DC Joseph Attah, and made available to the Nigeria News Agency in Ilorin on Wednesday.

Attah sexplined that the distribution of relief materials was also aimed at donating all perishable seized goods by Customs to the IDPs in the North East.

He listed the items allocated to Yobe for distribution as 6,900 bags of 50kg Rice. 50 kegs of Vegetable oil (25 litres), 110 bales of Second hand clothing, 42 sacks of Second hand handbags, and 4,357 bags of Mosquito coils.

The spokesman said that the logistics and transportation of the relief items from Kwara to Yobe was supervised by the Nigerian Army.

Attah said that the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated various and continuous actions by government at different levels to prevent and stop the spread of the virus in Nigeria.

“This is to react to pains associated with the effects of the lockdown in some parts of the country, as some Nigerians have taken to the social media to call on Nigeria Customs Service to share seized rice and other edible items to members of the public.

“While some of these calls appear well intended, others had attempted to create the impression that Custom officers have the liberty to use seized items as they deem fit.

“Some even mischievously impugned that the items may have already been shared to cronies,” Attah said.

According to him, it is necessary to explain that in line with the provision of Section 167 (2) of CEMA CAP C45 LFN 2004;

“Seized items upon condemnation and forfeiture to the federal government by a competent Court of jurisdiction are kept in government warehouses pending government directive on its disposal”.

He said that as a responsible agency of government, the NCS appreciates the opportunity of contributing its quota to federal government’s continuous efforts to provide relief for Nigerians in this difficult time.

“NCS remains committed to strictly adhering to all extant laws governing seized and overtime cargoes.

“Despite the prevailing risks, the Service will continue to discharge its functions of securing the land borders and collection of revenue that is needed during and post COVID-19 pandemic period,” he said.

Attah said that it should be noted that only edible items certified fit for human consumption by NAFDAC would be released to the public.

He therefore urged officers and men to remain focused on service delivery, saying that the CGC reminds the operatives and all Nigerians on the need to obey all directives of government and medical experts, in order to stop the spread of the deadly virus.

Edited By: Bayo Sekoni/Muhammad Suleiman Tola
(NAN)

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Economy

COVID-19: Customs boss approves release of rice, other items worth N3.2bn

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The Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), has approved the release of 46,000 metric tons of rice, 36,495 kegs of vegetables oil and other items valued at N3.2 billion for distribution.

The Customs’ Public Relations Officer, Mr Joseph Attah, made this known in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday.

Attah said that the relief items were to boost the Federal Government continuous efforts to alleviate sufferings associated with the painful but necessary ongoing lockdown in some parts of the country.

He disclosed that the items approved to be released were 46,000 metric tons or about 158 trailers, 36,495 kegs of vegetables oil of 30 trucks and 3,428 kegs of palm oil.

According to him, others are 136,705 cartons of tomatoes paste, 2,951 cartons of spaghetti, 1,253 packets of noodles, 828 bales of wrappers and 2,300 rolls of lace fabric.

Attah said only edible items certified by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for human consumption would be released to the public.

“As a responsible agency of the government, customs appreciates the opportunity of contributing its quota to the Federal Government’s continuous efforts to provide relief for Nigerians in this difficult time.

“NCS remains committed to strictly adhering to all extant laws governing seized and overtime cargoes,” he added.

Edited By: Felix Ajide
(NAN)

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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