Rivers - The anti-smuggling task force of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has seized smuggled goods worth N218 million imported to the country between January and March 2013, a deputy comptroller of customs said.
The goods were seized within the Port Harcourt axis.
Mr Hassan Shallangwa, the Head, Headquarters Anti-smuggling Task Force of the service, told newsmen at the Onne Port in Rivers on Thursday that the goods were smuggled through concealment, under-declaration and false declaration.
“By the grace of God, under the purposeful leadership of the Comptroller-General of the NCS, Abdullahi Dikko and the credible information given to us by patriotic Nigerians, we have been able to make assorted seizures with duty paid value of N218 million, within three months under review.’’
He said five persons have been arrested in connection with the smuggled goods.
Shallangwa, a Deputy Comptroller of Customs, said a total of eight containers and one lorry loaded with used tires were seized by the task force.
“Among the items seized are: two by 20 feet container, fully loaded with pirated books.
“This is in line with our agency services and in due course, the containers will be handed over to the Nigerian copyright commission in furtherance of inter-departmental cooperation.
“Nigerians’ intelligence rights must be protected. Other items seized include, one by 40 feet container of furniture; one by 20 feet container of musical case and boxes; one by 20 feet container of hand bags.
“One by 20 feet container of plastic plates; one by 40 feet container of rubber slippers; one by 20 feet container of spare parts that was falsely declared as computer parts; one by 40 feet container of juice; and one trailer fully loaded with used tyres. With all these seizures, we have five suspects.”
The task force head warned those intending to smuggle goods to desist because they would lose their money and be prosecuted.
He also said after the court process, some of the goods would be destroyed and others auctioned as directed by the court.
He said the task force had displayed seized smuggled goods worth N200 millions in Benin while seven persons were arrested.
The task force, he said, would visit Katsina, Kano, and Zamfara states to display seized goods.