The Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A, Ikeja, of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Tuesday laid bare the recent ploy of super-rich Nigerians to bring in exotic vehicles into the country without the payment of duty.
The Unit in Ikeja had shown round some media men 31 smuggled luxury vehicles with duty paid value (DPV) of N1.62 billion and other items it impounded in January from smugglers.
According to the Customs Area Controller, Mohammed Uba, the expensive automobiles were impounded in the highbrow areas of Lagos like Victoria Island, Banana Island, among others.
In his words, “Among the detained vehicles include four Rolls Royce, one Porche Panamera, one Jaguar, one Bentley, two Lexus Jeep, two G Wagon, one Toyota Land Cruiser, five Toyota Corolla and seven Mercedes Benz.
“While some of the vehicles were intercepted along Ijebu Ode Expressway, others were evacuated at various raids in Parkview Estate, Victoria Island, Banana Island, Alhaji Bankole Crescent, Ikeja and Tola Adewunmi Street, Maryland”.
Uba, leveraging on Customs power of disecretion, urged the owners of the impounded vehicles to come forward with valid Customs clearance documents to take delivery of their wares or forfeit them to the Federal Government.
The vehicles with duty paid value of N1.4 billion were mostly of 2017 models.
The Controller disclosed also that the Unit equally recovered the sum of N91,366,436.00 from underpayment.
Other seizures made by the command in the period under review included 8,400 bags of rice, concealed in 14 trailers, 1,652 cartoons of frozen poultry products and 835 jerry cans of vegetable oil.
Others were 10 sacks of Indian hemp, 2,208 pieces of used tyres and 159 bales of used clothing.
He said that the action of the Customs operatives was in line with the provisions of the . Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA), Cap 45, laws of the Federation of Nigeria.
He said with the laws, the Customs Unit had the powers to search premises and recover goods which were smuggled into the country without payment of duties.