Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Federal Operations Unit Zone C, Owerri, arrested 18 suspects and impounded 36 vehicles involved in smuggling.
Area Controller of the Unit, Dimka Victor David, disclosed this while briefing newsmen yesterday in his Owerri office.
Dimka said 37 seizures were recorded in January 2015 with a Duty Paid Value, DPV, of N179,523,600. He revealed that the seizure was higher than that recorded in January 2014, which he put at 11 with a DPV of N93 million.
The area controller attributed the feat by the unit to series of innovations put in place by the management of NCS under the able leadership of the Comptroller-General of Customs, CGC, Abdullahi Dikko, which has in no small measure drastically reduced smuggling, even as he commended sister agencies such as the police, State Security Services, SSS, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency and the media for their continued cooperation in the fight against smuggling.
According to him, the seizures, which came from the various locations within the zone include 13 cars, 14 jeeps, five trucks and four buses. Others were 636 cartons of imported frozen poultry products, 800 bags of cement, 800 pieces of used tyres, 2,155 cartons of foreign soap and creams, 274 bales of second-hand clothing and stockings as well as 17 pieces of tarpaulin, 12 pieces of PVC rubber carpet and 51 bags of 50kg foreign rice.
He commended members of the public who have courageously and patriotically supplied the unit with relevant information bordering on smuggling and assured that such information would not be divulged to the public.
"We have been trained, oriented and conscientised under the management of the CGC to meet our challenges and it is left for those still entrapped in smuggling to desist forthwith or be prepared to face the consequences of their act if arrested", he stated.
Dimka advised members of the public who wish to purchase vehicles to ensure that they go through th official channels and to always clear with the customs before investing their money, warning that all illegal imported goods must be impounded as ignorance of the law is no excuse.