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How Customs Tracked N67m From Smugglers, Intercepted $8m Illegal Movement January in Lagos

4 min read
How Customs Tracked N67m From Smugglers, Intercepted m Illegal Movement January in Lagos

As one of the watchdogs of national economic security in Nigeria Customs Service, has again showed in words and deeds, that it is serious with ensuring that the activities and operations of smugglers, money launderers, people dealing in illegal arms and corrupt politicians, are tamed this new year and off course, new decade.

January, 15, Jerry Attah, public relations officer, federal operations unit of NCS in Ikeja, Lagos, told the world through the media that Usman Yahaya, who resumed duties as acting controller of Customs for FOU ‘A’, hit the ground running when he intercepted contraband goods valued at over N67million in one week

According to Attah, barely one week in office, his quest for outstanding performance using credible intelligence yielded positive results with the interception of 2,065 jerry cans of vegetable oil 25liters each, 1,185 bags of 50kg foreign parboiled rice, 1500 jerry cans (25lts) of diesel, with a duty paid value of 67,362,500.00, between January 7th -14th January 2020 along different unapproved routes within our areas of coverage.

This feat is coming as a result of series of meetings held with our sectional heads, team/patrol leaders where he unveiled the management’s mandate bestowed on him which includes blockage of all revenue leakages, trade facilitation and intensification of anti-smuggling operations at various entry points: seaports, land borders, and Airport within our areas of jurisdiction in the south west zone.

DC Yahaya warned smugglers and ‘would be’ of the danger that lies ahead for them if they do not engage in legitimate trade, as some have started counting their losses

“You will agree with me that the fight against smuggling can only be won if all hands are on deck”. He called on all the members of the media and the general public to support the fight against smuggling by providing necessary intelligence that could assist the service in reducing smuggling to its barest minimum.

Meanwhile, DC Yahaya’s redeployment was part of the Comptroller-General’s strategies to re-jig and reposition the Service for greater efficiency and effectiveness especially in the areas of revenue generation, trade facilitation as well as combating smuggling.

DC Usman Yahaya is a quintessential and an enforcement guru who hitherto was the Coordinator of Strike Force, Zone ‘A’, before he was posted to FOU ‘A’ as the Acting Controller.

He took over on Tuesday 7thJanuary 2020, from Comptroller Aliyu Mohammed, who was elevated based on his record to a new assignment as the Acting Sector 4 Commander of Border Drill Operations code named Ex-Swift Response.

The assumption of office by Usman Yahaya at FOU ‘A’, naturally, has sent panic to all smugglers and non-compliant traders knowing very well his antecedents as an Enforcement Czar.

Yahaya thanked the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) and the entire Management Team of the Nigeria Customs Service for considering him worthy and assured he will work assiduously with all officers to justify the confidence reposed on him.

Attached are his official portrait and pictures of seized items for your immediate use

Again, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col Hammed Ali, rtd, on Tuesday in Lagos told newsmen how officers of the Federal Operations Unit of the Nigerian Customs Service intercepted illegal movement of over $8million at the Muritala Muhammed International Airport in Ikeja, Lagos.

Speaking on the interception, Ali explained that based on credible information received, FOU Customs intelligence unit, was activated and detailed to storm the E wing unit of the MMIA on January 16, 2020, where the illegal movement of the foreign currency was intercepted.

According to the customs boss, one Chimezie Okonkwo, driver of the coaster bus where the currency, loaded in six bargo bags and conveyed to the airport was arrested.

“On Saturday, January 18, 2020, an inventory of the consignment was taken and was witnessed by representatives of the Directorate of State Security Service, DSS, Customs Intelligence Unit, Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing Unit, in the presence of the suspect”, he said.

He further explained that at the end of the inventory, a total of 20 sealed wraps were opened, counted, re-sealed, and re-wrapped under video coverage, where the total sum of $8,065,612, was counted.

The Customs boss, while reminding Nigerians that only $10,000 is the threshold allowed for genuine drivellers, who have no intention, of laundering for international terrorism, drug smuggling, arms proliferation, and other criminal acts, pleaded with members of the public and the press to join in the fight against all forms of smuggling and money laundering.

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