Customs impounds 64 bullet-proof cars, rice
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Customs impounds 64 bullet-proof cars, rice

The Federal Operations Unit Zone A, Lagos, of the Nigeria Customs Service has impounded 64 pieces of exotic bullet-proof cars in Lagos State.

The cars carefully hidden inside a compound in the Phase 1 of Omole Estate, Lagos, are worth over N1.3 billion.

This development is coming barely a month after 51 exotic bullet-proof cars were also impounded in Ikoyi and Festac Town.

Mos of the cars, it was gathered, are 2017 models of Toyota Prado and Lexus Jeeps.

Among the impounded cars are nine Toyota Hilux vans, eight Toyota Hiace buses; 26 Toyota Corolla cars; nine Land Cruiser SUV; five Toyota Camry; one Land Rover; one Nissan Sentara and one Paper SUV.

Six persons have been arrested in connection with the seizure of the vehicles.

READ ALSO: FG rakes in N17bn from tax evaders in 6 months, says FIRS

Speaking with journalists in Lagos on Wednesday, Customs Area Controller in charge of the unit, Comptroller Garba Mohammed, disclosed that a total of 13, 333 50kilogramme bags of imported rice with a duty paid value DPV of N164million and 835 pieces of 25-litre kegs of vegetable oil with DPV of N7.8million, were seized at various points within the units area of coverage between November 1  and 30, 2017.

According to him, the seizure of the cars were based on intelligence reports.

He said so far, no one had come up with authentic import documents to claim the cars, which was an indication that they might have been smuggled into the country.

He said their actions of the Customs were in line with the renewed commitment of the service, especially the FOU Lagos, to reduce smuggling and other economic sabotage to the barest minimum.

His words:  “No one has come up with any document showing that the vehicles were genuinely imported into the country and appropriate duty paid on them, which suggests that they may have been smuggled. If anyone comes up with such documents within the statutorily stipulated time, we will not hesitate to release the vehicles to him, but if no one does, the vehicles would be forfeited to the Federal Government.

“As we speak, all our warehouses are filled to the brim with goods smuggled into the country, which shows that the criminal elements are unrepentant. But we have also made a firm resolution that it is no longer business as usual because we will further expand our intelligence gathering network and so there is no hiding place for them.

 “We also need to support Federal Government’s policy on rice, encourage local rice farmers, the millers and patronise our nutritional rice.”