The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), on Thursday, said it has seized 18 exotic vehicles worth millions of naira from dealers who smuggled them into the country to evade duty payment. Out of the 18, 13 of them are bullet proof which ought to have got the clearance of the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) before importation.
The Comptroller General of Customs, Hammed Ali, who disclosed this in Abuja, while briefing journalists, said that the vehicles were seized from Kefiano Motors Limited in the Central Business Area of Abuja, following the intelligence gathered and processed by his officers.
“The seizures were made on Saturday, 16th September, 2017, based on credible information the detachment of the Compliance Team visited Kefiano Motors Limited in the Central Business Area of Abuja and discovered 18 suspected smuggled exotic vehicles that were displayed for sales”, he said. The vehicles seized included: two Range Rover SUVs, one Rolls Royce, four Lexus SUVs, three Mercedes Benz G Wagon, two Toyota Prado SUVs, one Lincoln Navigator and one Infinity.
Others were, one Mercedes Benz 4matic, two Toyota Sequoia and one Toyota Camry. Ali reiterated that in the last two months, the Customs has worked assiduously on the implementation of the federal government’s ban on importation of vehicles through the land borders, adding that the anti- smuggling activities have yielded positive results across the country.
He noted that the anti- smuggling activities were being enforced in the six geo-political zones in the country. The devopment, he added, has led to massive seizures of vehicles. “Work is ongoing in the north-east for a better outcome.
“Zone A, which is Lagos and the Western states, has recorded a 35 vehicles seized in two months; and zone B, which is North-west, has so far seized 93 vehicles; and Zone c, which is South-east and South-South, has so far recorded 37 seized vehicles. We are waiting for the outcome of the exercise in the North east”, the CGC stated.
The Customs boss reiterated his officers’ commitment to rid the nation of smugglers who he described as economic saboteurs. “We are working towards as well-equipped and motivated Customs.
Our officers can deal decisively with smugglers and smoke them out of their illicit businesses. We would sustain the anti- smuggling operations under his administration. “Section 175 of Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) cap 45 and 158 of CEMA, cap 45 would be executed across the country”, he said.