Customs confiscates 10 exotic vehicles, goods worth N442m in Owerri

Nigeria Customs Service (NCS)

Nigeria Customs Service (NCS)

The zonal controller of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone Owerri, Imo state, Mr. Olusemire Kayode, weekend said his men had impounded 10 exotic vehicles, including a Rolls Royce car and Mercedes Benz (G-Wagon) Brabus.

Nigeria Custom
Nigeria Custom

He also said the service seized no fewer than 2900 bags of imported rice and other items with a total Duty Paid Value, DPV of over N442 million between the months of January and March this

Olusemire, who took journalists to witness the seizures in Benin City, the Edo state capital, alsosaid that some room furniture with dining tables and chairs with a duty paid value of N46 millionwere impounded by the customs officials along Benin-Ore Expressway.

He explained that importation of furniture was not banned but the item was seized for wrong declaration as, according to him, the importer declared it as used vehicle in order to evade paying the right duty on it.

He said six persons were arrested in connection with the smuggling activities. The customs controller listed the items impounded during the period to include, one bullet proof Range Rover Sport (2013) with DPV of N17million; Rolls Royce (2012) with DPV ofN87.5million; Mercedes Benz G63 Brabus (2013) with DPV of N60million; Toyota Hilux (2018) with DPV of N29.2million and Landcruiser Prado (2018) with DPVof N23 million.

Others are Mercedes Benz GLE 450 (2016) with a DPV of N20.5million; Mercedes Benz ML 350 (2013) with a DPV of N12.7million; Lexus RX 350 (2010) with a DPV of N9million; Toyota Highlander (2011) with DPV of mN7.2million and Mercedes Benz ML 350 (2008) with a DPV of N5.7million.

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He also disclosed that some of the rice that was impounded was concealed with bags of cement in order to evade arrest. Olusemire expressed worry over the increased act of smuggling amongst the rich in the country,
lamenting that, in all the four warehouses of the FOU Zone C, Owerri was littered with exotic cars and rice smuggled into the country.

“Look at a Rolls Royce Car that somebody brought into Nigeria. In a family of luxurious cars, Bughatti, Rolls Royce, Bentley, Mercedes Benz Brabus (G-Wagon) and armoured cars are there. Whoever will bring such a vehicle to Nigeria and smuggled it through the bush, I don’t know what we can say about such a person. This is a car that will cost like N87million and whoever
that is opportune in Nigeria to have it must have belonged to the bourgeoisies. Then, why is it that the super rich in the country should be the ones to sabotage the economy. Why would anybody bring in G-wagon without payment of duty?

“We need to appeal to our conscience to see how we can move the country ahead. We also have bullet proof Range Rover Sport. Why would you want to show your wealth without complying with government policies?” he queried. On some people, who claim ignorance of import duty policies, the Customs boss said “but we have consistently said it that anyone who wants to buy any vehicle should first of all ask the dealer about the ‘C’ number and visit any customs formation nearest to him to get information
about the vehicle. With the ‘C’ number, you will find out if the import duty was paid on the vehicle or not. Don’t just go to any dealer to buy vehicle without finding out the ‘C’ number of the vehicle

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“We also have about 2,900 bags of rice here. If you get to Calabar, you will see number of bag of rice we have over there. We have exotic cars, bullet proof, used fridges and we have compressor. These are items that are banned from coming into Nigeria.

“Cars are not banned, rice is not banned. If you can process your form ‘M’ through the sea port, Apapa, Port Harcourt and Tincan Island ports, you can process your document over there, you can bring in rice into the country.

“But, people will not do that. Despite the effort of the federal government in making Nigeria become self-sufficient in rice production, people like these are sabotaging that effort. By now, with the effort of the government, Nigeria is supposed to be talking about exportation of rice. But
these are our albatross that will never allow this country to move forward. We have very arable lands across the country from Calabar to Maiduguri, from Sokoto to Lagos and Enugu.

There is nowhere you plant rice that it will not grow. We have hybrid set of rice that can grow under three months. But despite all these policies, people are not ready to comply with government policies.What they are looking for is how to make money quickly and sabotage the economy and
government effort.

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“This trailer load of rice was concealed with some bags of cement to bag it up. When you ope it, your impression is that they are having cement. But it is not so. What you have here is about 500 bags of rice. There are other trailers that have hundreds of bags of foreign rice. These are
rice we don’t even know when they were harvested. Most of them are expired rice. But people are still in the habit of bringing in rice into the country. This is what we are saying should stop.

We are appealing that we should stop these activities of smugglers and importation and smuggling of rice to Nigeria. If you till this land and plant rice, it will grow”.

He used the opportunity to appeal to people that are engaging in all the nefarious activities to desist henceforth because Nigeria Customs Service was not ready to allow the economy to be sabotaged.

Olusemire said, henceforth, “We as Customs officers are determined to deal with these economic sabotages. Anywhere they want to come in from in this axis, we will be there waiting for them, be it Ekang, Ufong, Lagos Road, Enugu, we are all there waiting for you. So, stop wasting your money. Go and open your own farm. Government is even interested in giving you loans to assist you grow.”

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