Nigerian Customs Seized 20 Containers Loaded With Expired Tomato Concentrate Worth N116million In Lagos
The acting Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, on Friday, announced that the Service intercepted no fewer than 20 containers loaded with expired tomato concentrates at the Tin-Can Island port in Lagos State.
The Customs boss, who made this known while displaying the seizure, noted that the concentrate was seized by the Port and Terminal Multiservice Limited (PTML) Command of the Service on August 8, 2023 with one suspect arrested.
Adeniyi explained that the expired tomato concentrates, which have a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N116million, were falsely declared as containing almond shells and imported by Nikecristy Investment Limited.
The Customs boss noted that the operation that led to the seizure aligned perfectly with his set goals for the Service. Adding that the Service’s primary objectives are to curb smuggling, safeguard national revenue, ensure the security of the nation, and promote legitimate trade and businesses.
He warned importers against importing products that would endanger the lives of Nigerians, saying attempt to introduce such a large quantity of expired food products into the Nigerian market was heartless and inexcusable.
He said; “Today, we stand before you to announce a remarkable seizure at PTML. We have successfully intercepted and detained a staggering 20 containers filled with expired tomato concentrate, an unprecedented event since the inception of this command.
“On the 8th of August, 2023, during a routine examination, our vigilant officers at PTML uncovered a cache of expired tomato concentrate, deemed unsafe for human consumption. The audacity of the smugglers to attempt introducing this hazardous product into the Nigerian market is both shocking and disheartening.
“These expired tomato concentrates were concealed within 20 containers, each falsely declared as containing almond shells, all under the auspices of a company identified as Nikecristy Investment Limited. In each container, 80 drums were meticulously arranged, amounting to a total of 1,600 drums. The Duty Paid Value of this illegal cargo is a staggering sum of N116.2million.
“As of now, all these containers remain in our custody, officially recorded as seizures. We have apprehended one suspect, Mr. Okonkwo Oliver Izunna, who is currently under administrative bail but remains under investigation.
“This seizure, which was processed through three separate single good declarations (SGDs) forms, is a testament to our unwavering commitment to maximally suppress smuggling and our determination to safeguard the lives of Nigerian citizens by intercepting dangerous imports such as these.
“The actions taken by those involved in this unlawful activity contravene the provisions of sections 228(1) and (2), 55 (c and d), and 233 of the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023. Additionally, it directly violates Schedule 4, item 14 of the Common External Tariff (CET) 2022-2026.
“I would like to take this opportunity to send a stern warning to importers and their agents, urging them to steer clear of unlawful practices such as false declarations aimed at evading duties or smuggling prohibited goods into our country.”