Customs: Western Marine gets 4 Patrol Boats, Seized 110.2m Contraband in 3 months

Customs: Western Marine  gets 4 Patrol Boats, Seized 110.2m Contraband in 3 months

Joy Mmereole Okoli
The Western Marine Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NSC) has disclosed that it received additional four patrol boats in which two of them  are gunboats from management of the service to support the existing watercrafts to subdue smuggling activities within the waterways.

The Command said the four patrol boats from the management service arrived between March 28th and 3rd of April 2023 respectively.

The Customs Area Comptroller (CAC), Comptroller Oduadu Salefu disclosed this in at a press brief  in Lagos on Tuesday, said that in total seven boats have been procured for the command and that three other watercrafts are being expected to also arrive frpm the manufacturer.

Oduadu said  the command while under review has recorded 15 incidents of seizures with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N110.2 million, in the first quarter of 2023.

The Controller said that the two existing boats of the command; MV Group of Nine and MV Customs Pride are currently undergoing repairs and would soon be deployed to complement the new ones.
Comptroller Salefu noted that currently, some of the personnel from the command are currently undergoing training with the Nigerian Navy on maritime safety and security adding that the service has continued to train and retrain officers and men on seafaring activities.

Salefu said that the cumulative analysis of seizures was 1,519 bags of 50kg-size foreign parboiled rice; 8,825 liters of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) contained in 468 kegs of 25 liters each.

Others he listed as 700 pairs of foreign-used shoes; 20 used foreign ladies’ bags; 88 cartons of Caro White Cream (beaching cream), 50 pairs of expired tyres, 3 Outboard boat engines and one water pumping machine.

“In line with the responsibilities conferred on the NCS by the provisions of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA), Cap C45 Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria LFN 2004 as amended, the command continues to suppress smuggling along the South-Western waterways and Creeks.

“All actions of our operatives are in line with the provisions of Sections 149 (Power to vehicles/ship) and 158 (Power to patrol freely) of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) Cap C45 LFN 2004 as amended.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the importation of foreign parboiled rice, HS Code 1006.30.1000, is restricted in Nigeria by the Federal government since March 2016.

“Any improper importation of foreign rice, contrary to allowed trade route restriction, is liable to forfeiture, further to section 46 of the Customs and Excise Management Act(CEMA) Cap C45 LFN 2004 as amended,” he stated.

Comptroller Salefu disclosed that five suspects were  arrested within the period but have been granted administrative bail pending when charges will be proffered against them in court.

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