Customs Impound Pangolin Scales, Petrol Litres, Others Worth N468m

The Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘D’ Bauchi of the Nigeria Customs Service in its anti-smuggling drive 165kghas halted the illegal exportation of two thousand two hundred and nine (2209) jerrycans of Premium Motor Spirit (25 litres each), one hundred and forty-nine (149) drums of PMS (250 litres each), forty-nine (49) jerrycans of Automotive Gas Oil (25 litres each). Totalling, ninety-three thousand, seven hundred (93,700) litres of petroleum products.

The Customs Comptroller in charge of the Unit, Comptroller Musa Ibrahim Jalo disclosed this on Thursday during a press briefing with Media at the Unit Headquarters in Bauchi.

Comptroller Jalo decried the unpatriotic attitude of the smugglers of petroleum products, thereby harming the economy which can exacerbate the present scarcity of the product in Nigeria.

In his words “There are environmental, social and economic impacts of smuggling which has a far-reaching effect on our economy, yet some unscrupulous elements derive pleasure in deflating the economy via this means. It erodes government revenue accruable through tariffs and perpetuates a culture of lawlessness. FOU Zone ‘D’ of Nigeria Customs is on top of the game. We won’t let this illegal trade thrive.”

Similarly, in line with the strategic role of Customs in enforcing the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES), Operatives of the FOU Zone ‘D’ intercepted four sacks of Pangolin scales weighing 165kg.

“Trafficking in wildlife can diminish species population and cause local or even global extinction. Illegal trade of Endangered Species, poaching, or harvesting risks the species of becoming extinct, which is also stated in Schedule 6 of the ECOWAS Common External Tariff (CET) 2022-2026.” He explained.

He further stated that two thousand three hundred and twenty-six (2326) pieces of used tyres, four hundred and forty-one (441) bales of secondhand clothing, and twenty-seven (27) sacks of secondhand clothing were seized in line with schedule 4 of the CET which places the above items on absolute prohibition on health and safety grounds.

While decrying the harmful effects of used and old tyres, such as loss of control of the vehicle, and reduced grip, particularly in wet conditions which may lead to road crashes, the Comptroller urged Nigerians to desist from patronizing them and second-hand clothing which is injurious to the skin and causes other skin related diseases.

Other Seizures include; three thousand, four hundred and eighty-seven (3487) bags of fertilizer. Which is controlled as measures placed by the Federal Government to avert the potential danger of its usage by insurgents for the production of explosives.

During the period under review, the unit also seized six hundred and seventy-five (675) bags of foreign parboiled rice (50kg each), two hundred and fifty-two (252), cartons of foreign soap, two hundred and fifty (250) cartons of foreign spaghetti, forty-two (42) pieces of alloy rims, five (5) units of used imported vehicles, seventeen (17) vehicles as means of conveyance among others.

According to him, the cumulative Duty Paid Value of all the seized items stood at four hundred and sixty-eight million, three hundred and forty-one thousand, four hundred and thirty naira only (₦468,341,430).

“Let me clearly state that the seizures showcased here today were possible as a result of robust information gathering and credible intelligence sharing by other Customs Units such as the CIU, Customs Police, CGC Strikeforce, vigilant and resilient patrol officers of FOU ‘D’, other security agencies and patriotic Nigerians.”

“Our operative’s actions are by all extant laws as enshrined in the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) CAP C45 LFN 2004 as amended, particularly section 139 (provisions as to detention, seizure, and condemnation of goods) and 158 (power to patrol freely).” He explained.

He finally appealed to patriotic citizens on the need to provide credible information to the service to curb the menace of the daredevil smugglers who are bent on crippling the economy of this Great Nation.

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