- The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has justified its recent raids of auto marts across the country
- Joseph Attah, the public relations officer of the service, said the exercise is in line with the extant law
- Attah, however, declared that any vehicle imported through unapproved route was a smuggled one
The Nigerian Customs Service said it has seized over 3000 vehicles across the country between January and October is in line with the extant law.
Joseph Attah, the public relations officer of the service, said the recent raid of car shops was in line with section 147 of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) which empowers it to search shops suspected to be having smuggled items.
Daily Trust reports that some auto dealers grumbled over alleged rip-off and harassment by officials of the customs who raided their shops in commando style in search of smuggled vehicles.
However, the customs’ spokesman who justified the action said the raid was to ascertain the genuineness of vehicles displayed at car shops.
According to him, many of the importers came through unapproved routes. He said any vehicle imported through unapproved route was a smuggled one.
He maintained that no customs officer would disturb an importer who has done the right thing even as he denied allegations of extortion leveled against the officers and men of the service.
Attah said: “The question is who is extorting who and for what reason are you being extorted? Do the right thing. Those shouting about extortion are people who want to do the wrong thing.
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“The present government policy prohibits importation through the land borders and our responsibility as the Nigeria Customs Service is to implement the CEMA
''Whereas some of these smugglers are arrested at the border, any smuggler who beats customs officers at the border is still subject to arrest wherever or whenever the vehicle is found.’’
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com had reported that the NCS revealed that it intercepted 27 Toyota Hilux pick-up vehicles in Abuja suspected to have been smuggled into the country.
In a statement released on its official Facebook page, the deputy comptroller-general of customs, Aminu Dangaladima, on Friday, October 13, said it was committed to getting rid of smuggling in the country.
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