MMIA Customs Command arraigns five over alleged duty evasion

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Jayne Shoboiki, Comptroller in charge of Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Command, says the command has arraigned five suspects before a Federal High Court in Lagos for allegedly smuggling cargo out of the port without paying duty.

Shoboiki made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Sunday.

According to her, I had to make sure that they were all charged to court.

She said she could not understand how some people could go into the shed and tried to smuggle cargo out of the shed without paying duty.

“The culprits were locked up, taken to court but now they are on bail and the case comes up again in October because the judges are on annual vacation.

“I dragged them to court to serve as a deterrent to others to understand that whenever anybody do the wrong thing, the law will catch up with such a person,’’ Shoboiki said.

She noted that the command was able to generate N29.12 billion in the last six months of 2019, up from the figure recorded in the same period of 2018.

“The Federal Government’s Foreign Policy mandated any person traveling out of the country to declare any amount more than $10,000 dollars or equivalent in any other currency on Currency Declaration form,’’ Shoboiki said.

She said the command also seized $50 million brought into the country without proper documentation.

The controller said the command got information that the particular money coming into the country had no proper documentation.

Shoboiki said the command had handed over the money to Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), for proper investigation.

The controller said that honest declaration was the key to trade facilitation, saying that the Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC), Retired Col.  Hameed Ali, was keen about trade facilitation and revenue generation.

She noted that the CGC had compelled all officers to carry out 100 per cent examination of cargo as well as continuous sensitisation of the port users.

“In the period under review, the command seized Pangolin, Donkey skin, Elephant tusks and Cocaine imported from Pakistan which was concealed in cartons declared as household items.

“We also intercepted Cannabis which was concealed in a baby doll and handed over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

“The command also intercepted camouflage uniforms which were meant to be imported by armed forces and tramadol.

“The Duty Paid Value of all the seized items stood at N382.2 million,’’ she said.

Shoboiki said that NCS had been given the power to destroy seized tramadols in the presence of other agencies, while Customs would do the destruction.

She said that she was happy about the instruction concerning destruction of  drugs so that such drugs would not get into wrong hands.

Shoboiki said that tramadol was really damaging the lives of youths in the country.

The controller urged officers to be more proactive, saying that virtually all officers in her command were buying into the idea of CGC which had enabled her to get maximum cooperation from them.

She pleaded with the public to be curious in understanding the rules and regulations of traveling to avoid their goods being seized.

Shoboiki urged the public to always engage in honest declaration to facilitate trade.  (NAN)

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