Customs seize N7.8bn smuggled charcoal, wood, tomato in Lagos

The Nigeria Customs Service, Lagos State, has confirmed the seizure of smuggled wood, charcoal, raw hides and skin, batteries, cloths, tomato paste, among others, in Lagos State.

The Coordinator, Team A, Comptroller General of Customs Strike Force, Ahmadu Shuaibu, during a briefing on Wednesday, said the total duty paid value on the 103 seized items was over N7.8bn.

He noted that the anti-smuggling activities of the team and its efforts at preventing evasion of duty by importers between October and November 2021, led to the seizures.

While stating that the items were seized for contravening the Federal Government’s policy on export prohibition, Shuaibu said some of the items contravened import guidelines.

He said, “Our combination of intelligence, diligent enforcement and zero compromise disposition resulted in a total of 103 seizures with total duty paid value of N7,851,656,053.

“We have here as part of the seizures 61 containers of wood with DPV of N6,874,173,101; 36 containers of charcoal with DPV N381,916,500; 1,110 pieces of raw hides and skin in 185 sacks with a DPV of N61,188,750; 1x20ft container of batteries with DPV of N19,163,052; 4x40ft containers of second-hand clothing with DPV of N566,700,000; 1x20ft container of tomato paste in 1,912 cartons, worth N9,703,400.”

Shuaibu, who emphasised the team’s commitment to curbing smuggling activities in the state, said the seven suspects arrested during the operations had been granted bail.

“We are not unaware of smugglers desperation to carry out their illegal activities always, especially when Yuletide approaches, but they should beware that no matter how smart they rate themselves, the Strike Force Team A will always be steps ahead of them.

“We will always uncover their antics, seize their wares and arrest them for prosecution. We advise them in their own interest to desist from these unlawful activities and embrace only legitimate trades. The more they violate the laws, the more they have us to contend with,” he added.

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