April 10th, 2006 MEDIA REPORT #3

The Nigeria Customs Service, recorded seizures totaling 745 smuggled goods, including 422 used vehicles, between January and April 2005. During the four-month period, the government agency also impounded 323 other goods, which comprised packages of textiles such as guinea brocade and lace, juices, used refrigerators, tyres, drugs, and scrap metals among others. Details of the seizures were contained in a report by the Customs Enforcement and Drugs unit obtained by our correspondent on Monday. The smuggled goods according to the report were valued at ₦1.293 billion. It also indicated the duty levy worth ₦800.841 million was collected on the illegal imports, thereby bringing the total duty value of the seizures paid into the Federation Account to ₦2.094 billion. The report, which noted that 46 persons were arrested by the agency in connection with the smuggled goods. Also disclosed that 16 guns and 1,666 rounds of ammunition were impounded between January 2004 and April 2005.

The details of the anti-smuggling report showed that the largest seizures were recorded in March 2005, where 251 illegal imports, including 127 vehicles, all valued at ₦542.791 million were seized. The agency collected ₦288.297 million as duty levy on the seized goods in March while it paid ₦831.088 million being Duty Paid value of the seizure into the Federation Account. Customs also confiscated 241 contraband, including 111 used vehicles, valued at ₦247.526 million in April 2005. It collected duty levy of ₦220.850 million on the seizures while it paid ₦468.376 million as DPV of the seizures into the Federation Account.

The report also showed that illegal imports valued at ₦259.058 million and ₦244.032 million, were seized in January and February of 2005, respectively, from where the agency paid ₦415.502 million and ₦379.282 million as DPV of seizures in the two months. Out of the total seizures of 116 and 137 in January and February only 61 and 123 were seized vehicles. The report confirmed that eight, five, 10 and 23 persons were arrested in January, February, March and April in that order, in connection with the illegal imports. 

Story By Oluyinka Akintunde, Abuja

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