…Impounds 100 ‘dreaded’ gas cylinders, in 2 vehicles in Katsina***
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘B’ generated about N1.5 billion as Customs duty on smuggled vehicles in 2019.
The Controller in charge of the zone, Mr Mustapha Sarki-Kebbi, confirmed this in Katsina on Thursday, stressing that the outfit was not meant for revenue generation, but crime prevention.
“You know that the Federal Operations Unit did not have target other than to make seizures and we made a lot in 2019, which was even doubled what we did in 2018
“But the Comptroller-General of Customs designated all Federal Operations Units across the country to collect duty on smuggled vehicles, which we have been doing since end of October, 2019, to date.
“I can tell you that as at Jan. 21, 2020, the unit had generated over N1.5 billion as duty on smuggled vehicles,”he said.
He also said that the customs had made a total of 48 seizures conveyed by 38 vehicles and four trucks.
He said the seized items include, foreign rice, sugar, vegetable oil, bales of second-hand clothes, cartons of spaghetti, green tea, condensed milk, touch lights, tiger head batteries and sweets.
Others were piece of wrappers, garment, cartons of couscous and petroleum products, among others.
According to him, the items, which have Duty Paid Value of N63.5 million, were seized in Katsina state alone from Jan.1, to Jan.21.
Meanwhile, the FOU also seized two J5 buses loaded with 100 old cylinders laden with gas smuggled into the country through Katsina State border.
The Controller in charge of the zone, Mr Mustapha Sarki-Kebbi, highlighted this in Katsina, noting that the vehicles were arrested in Jibia, a border town with Niger Republic.
“The items were conveyed by daredevil smugglers with the intention of smuggling them into the country from Niger Republic.
“As you can see, the old cylinders are laden with gas.
“These kind of cylinders have been used before for terrorist activities, they put something inside to kill people.
“So, we are looking at the security and safety angles of the items, we don’t know whether they are fit to be used or not.
“We are still investigating the motive of bringing them into the country,” he said.
Sarki-Kebbi further said that each vehicle was loaded with cylinders laden with 50 kilograms of gas.
Sarki-Kebbi said that the drivers had run away and abandoned the vehicles.