The Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, has advised Nigerians intending to buy imported vehicles to verify their papers from the Customs before making full payment to avoid confiscation of such vehicles.
Area Controller of Federal Operation Unit, FOU, “Zone C” of Nigeria Customs Service in Owerri Bukar Amajam, gave the advice in an interview in Owerri on Monday.
He said that some clearing agents often deceived their clients that they had paid all Customs duties and levies.
He said some agents would go as far as falsifying Customs papers to make their clients believe they were real, while some agents used papers of other imported goods.
Mr Amajam said the Customs would confiscate goods or vehicles without genuine Custom papers and those whose papers were falsified to the detriment of owners.
He also expressed regret that many companies had lost their heavy duty trucks to the Service due to activities of smugglers.
He said those vehicles were impounded for being used to ferry contraband from one part of the country to another and called on companies to call their drivers to order.
The area controller said that many new cars and goods had been seized by the Customs and advised people to go to any Customs office for advice to avoid confiscation of their goods.
He said the zone seized 41 contraband worth N538.38 million in the last two months.
He said 20 seizures with Duty Paid Value, DPV, of N314.67 million were made in September with underpayment of N33.81 million.
Mr Amajam said this was against the 21 seizures made in October with DPV of N228.51 million and underpayment of N23. 50 million.
He said vehicles with DPV of N211.46 million were intercepted along Benin axis, while 287 bags of 50kg foreign rice with DPV of N8.26 million were intercepted at Akwa Ibom and Cross River waterside.
Others were 1,306 pieces of empty gas cylinders in a 1x40ft container intercepted along Benin axis with DPV of N71.86 million and 1,901 cartons of foreign Eva complexion soap worth N17.67 million.
He said that the October seizures included 5,733 bags of foreign rice valued at N146.76 million intercepted in Benin MFUM, Eleme, and Isiokpo axis, while 330 cartons of Tramadol were arrested in Benin with DPV of N9.05 million.
Eight bags of Indian hemp and six cartons of Tramadol and Rophynol worth N1.18 million were intercepted in Enugu in addition to six vehicles with DPV of N48.49 million also intercepted along Benin axis.
He said the items had since been deposited at the NCS warehouses in Enugu, Calabar and Benin.
He said that 30 suspects, including drivers and conductors, were arrested in connection with the seizures.