Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Strike Force Unit, has raised debit notes worth N1 billion against importers and clearing agents in the last three months. The service also said smugglers now make use of cattle, camels, vehicles’ fuel compartment, used tyres and booths to smuggle rice and other dangerous goods into the country. Speaking yesterday, the officer in charge of the unit, Deputy Comptroller, Ahmadu Bello Shuaibu, said the amount generated would have been lost to smugglers, fraudulent importers and clearing agents who underdeclared their cargoes at the seaports. He explained that the unit in the last three months intercepted foreign parboiled rice, printed label materials, used vehicles, textiles material, used tyres and second out clothing.
He advised importers who were involved in false declaration of cargoes and under declaration to turn a new leave and uphold true declaration. Shuaibu said: “The Comptroller-General, Strike Force Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service, generated N1.03billion from debit note on major and minor infractions on cargoes that exited the seaport the Tin-Can Island and Apapa ports.
“The essence of the strike force ICT and raising of alerts on consignments is to raise debit notes. Also, importers and agents that we got this huge debit notes from won’t appreciate us for what we have done, rather they will castigate us.” Also he raised the alarm of new methods used by smugglers to smuggle contrabands, especially rice into the country. According to him, smugglers now endanger the lives of Nigerians by smuggling cargoes through the use car booths, fuel compartment, tyres, vehicle engines etc. These types of rice when seized are regarded as hazardous items.”