Customs Intercepts Exotic Armoured Vehicles in Abuja
On Saturday 16th September 2017, based on credible information the detachment of the Compliance Team visited Kefiano Motors Ltd in the Central Business Area of Abuja and discovered eighteen (18) suspected smuggled exotic Vehicles that were displayed for sales.
Beyond the issue of non-payment of Customs duty, thirteen (13) of these vehicles are Bullet Proof. These vehicles require clearance from the office of the National Security Adviser before importation. In a period of fragile security, we cannot afford to have unauthorized persons use armoured vehicles. Without End User Certificates, possession of these vehicles is illegal.
A breakdown of the vehicles is as follows:
Two (2)Range Rover, One (1) Rolls Royce, Four (4) Lexus, Three (3) G wagon, Two (2) Prado, One (1) Lincoln Navigator, One (1) Infinity, One (1) 4matic , Two (2) Toyota Sequoia, One (1) Toyota Camry.
For the avoidance of doubt, what we are doing is in-line with section 147 of Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) Cap 45, laws of the federation of Nigeria 2004 (power to search premises).
Section 158 of CEMA, Cap 45, laws of federation of Nigeria (power to patrol freely).
Let it be known that being in possession of smuggled item is an offence punishable under section 3 of Customs and Excise (Special Penal and Other Provision) Act Cap 47 laws of federation of Nigeria 2004.
In the last two (2) months, the service had stepped up its implementation of the Federal Government’s ban on importation of vehicles through Land borders.
This re-invigorated anti-smuggling activities have yielded the following positive results in the last two (2) months across the country.
Zone A, Lagos – 135 vehicles seized
Zone B, Kaduna – 93 vehicles seized
Zone C, Portharcourt – 37 vehicles seized
Zone D, Bauchi – Nil
It is unfortunate that the Service zero stands on smuggling continue to expose unwillingness of most Nigerian Importers to comply with the law.
These unpatriotic elements willingly comply with the laws of other Countries, but refuse to comply with our National guidelines on imports and exports.
High profile interceptions such as these are testimonies of the positive effects of the ongoing reform activities in the service.
My experience in Customs has shown that, a well equipped and motivated Customs officer can deal decisively with smugglers and smoke them out of their illicit business. The policy of reward for a good job and purnishment for those who compromise will continue under my leadership.
For those who may want to test the service’ resolve to maintain the new tempo of aggressive anti-smuggling operations, let me restate management’s readiness to sustain the tempo and even increase it by acquiring more working tools that will boost effectiveness.
Finally, let me commend the Nigerian media for their understanding and continuous support.
Together, we can win the war against Smuggling.
Colonel Hammed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd)
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