Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Strike Force Unit has recovered debit notes worth N1bn from importers, shippers in the last three months.
Officer in charge of the unit, Deputy Comptroller of Customs, Ahmadu Shuaibu who made the disclosure on Tuesday, said the amount generated would have been lost to smugglers, fraudulent importers and clearing agents who under-declared their cargoes at the seaports.
He charged importers who involved in the false declaration of cargoes and under-declaration to uphold true declaration.
“The Comptroller General, Strike Force Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service, generated N1.03bn from debit notes on major and minor infractions on cargoes that exited the seaport the Tin-Can Island and Apapa ports.”
“The essence of the strike force and raising of alerts on consignments is to raise debit notes. Also, importers and agents, we recovered these huge debit notes from won’t appreciate us for what we have done rather they will castigate us.”
He said, “Smugglers now endanger lives of Nigerians by smuggling cargoes through the use of car booths, fuel compartment, tyres, vehicle engines.”
Reacting, the National Public Relations Officer of the service, Joseph Attah, said the recovered N1bn justified the creation of the Strike Force Unit.
He added that the new method the smugglers have adopted shows that big vehicles could no longer be used to smuggle rice and other contrabands into the country.
“We have suppressed smuggling to the extent that they no longer make use of big trucks, vehicles, motorcycles to smuggle anymore. They now make use of camels, cattle, donkeys to move them in trickles.
“For instance, the three wonder cars were reconstructed and redesigned for the purpose of smuggling. They are reconstructed to get as much rice as possible, the smugglers can no longer use trucks and motorcycles because they are becoming difficult due to the anti-smuggling drive of our officers,” Attah said.