The Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit, FOU, Zone ‘C’ Owerri, said it recorded a total seizure of 307 contraband worth N4.75 billion in 2016.
The figure is a combination of both the Duty Paid Value, DPV, of N3.98 billion for the contraband and N770. 34 million being an underpayment recovered as revenue.
The Comptroller of the Unit, Uba Mohammed, announced this while giving an annual report for the year ended 2016 to journalists in Owerri on Monday.
He said the figure was in contrast to a total seizure made in the preceding year (2015) which was N2.84 billion, comprising a DPV of N2.71 billion and an underpayment recovering of N129.5 million.
He said the unit had succeeded in driving many smugglers out of their illicit businesses through the customs sustained aggressive onslaught against smuggling.
Mr. Mohammed said officers arrested 234 suspects while 24 cases were pending in courts in connection with the seizures.
He said the seized items included 169 motor vehicles with a DPV of N1.013 billion; 2,725 cartons of narcotics (Indian hemp/hard drugs) with a DPV of N366.8 million and 68 sacks/bales of foot wears worth N28.23 million.
Also included were 1,089 pieces of machinery/mechanical appliances/parts which had a DPV of N7.83 billion as well as 2,484 electrical/electronics/parts with DPV of N3.88million.
Mr. Mohammed said the zone would continue to strategise to bring smugglers, their agents and collaborators to their knees.
He expressed regrets that the Federal Government had continued to lose huge revenues from the unpatriotic activities of smugglers who were poised to acquire wealth through the short cut.
He warned such individuals to desist forthwith in their own interest.
The custom boss also advised Nigerians not to use the global economic down turn as an excuse to ruin themselves and their families.
He said the NCS would not entertain any sacred cow in its determination to make smuggling a thing of the past in the country.
Mr. Mohammed advised the youth to always preoccupy themselves with ideas and visions that could assist them to realise their potentials as future leaders instead of indulging in acts and conducts capable of impeding their success in life.
He, however, advised Nigerians who were into genuine and legitimate business of buying and selling not to entertain any fear as the NCS would continue to be guided by the cardinal principle of justice, equity and fairness.