Seized Bales of Clothing in Lagos

Nigeria Customs seizes 1,995 bales of smuggled clothing, arrests 5 suspects

*The Nigeria Customs Service says it has commenced investigation to uncover individuals behind the ‘massive importation’ of used clothing items into the country

Emmanuel Akosile | ConsumerConnect

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has said said the regulatory agency’s operatives impounded 1,995 bales of second-hand clothing among other contraband items in Lagos State.

ConsumerConnect reports the South-West Enforcement Unit of the NCS stated the operation constituted the largest single seizure of such goods ever made by the unit.

The NCS discloses that it uncovered the contraband  at an abandoned building around the International Trade Fair Complex in Lagos.

Hussein Ejibunu, Acting Controller, Federal Operations Unit Zone A of NCS, told reporters in Ikeja, Lagos State capital, that the Unit made the discovery and evacuation, using combined strategies of intelligence, tact, and enforcement.

In respect of the confiscated used clothing, Ejibunu said: “This is the highest single seizure of used clothing made by the Service this year.

“We have commenced investigation to know those behind this massive importation, and at what entry point these clothes came into the country.”

The NCS Acting Controller, also explained regulatory agency made a series of seizures with total duty paid value of N622,407, 586) September 2022.

“Smuggling of used clothes has economic and health implications on our people.

“The government in its wisdom wants the local textile industry to enjoy protection and create more jobs for Nigerians from the cotton farms through the textile and garment factories to our markets,” said he.

Ejibunu also noted that the seizures recorded within the period include 7,328 x 50kg bags of foreign parboiled rice, 121,550 litres of Premium Motor Spirit, 68 cartons of frozen poultry, and 37 crates of eggs used to conceal rice.

Others are 150 kg parcels of Indian Hemp, 10 pieces of military camouflage bags, six units of used cars, one unit of pump action rifle, two units of locally made guns and 35 live cartridges.

The Acting Controller disclosed that in the same period, the NCS Unit made a large cache of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol, carefully hidden inside sacks in the Badagry axis of Lagos State.

Besides, Ejibunu stated that the agency recovered  N107,816,622.75 in a bid to prevent losses to the Nigerian Government.

Meanwhile, the NCS said it had arrested five suspects connection with the seizures.

Ejibunu said: “Interestingly, the Federal High Court has passed three judgments in favor of this Unit on three criminal cases; securing the conviction of six people for being in possession of smuggled goods.

“While six civil suits against the Unit were dismissed for lack of merit.”

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