FRAUDULENT importers are in for a hard time, Customs said at the weekend.
The Comptroller-in-charge of Customs’ Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Ikeja, Lagos, Mr Emmanuel Kane, disclosed this
while announcing the impounding of 12 bullet-proof Sports Utility Vehicles
(SUVs) illegally imported into the country.
Kane said: “They will not maker an honest declaration. Somebody will bring in a 2010 vehicle and the agent will tell you
to write 2004. I will not allow that and the Service will not allow that because
we do not bend the rules. They are under declaring and doctoring documents to
favour them. We are not spirits and we work with the documents that we see.
He said it was worrisome that some disgruntled elements were bent on destroying the economy by importing expensive SUVs without paying duties to the government.
Kane said between January and last month, Customs operatives seized 65 vehicles from the Tin Can Island Ports. He said the
importers paid N7.2 million instead of N96.8million as import duties, robbing
government of the needed funds for developmental projects.
The 12 bullet-proof 2010 Toyota Land Cruizer SUVs were imported by unidentified owners.
Three of the SUVs have already been recovered by operatives.
A car shop on Victoria Island where the other nine were traced has been sealed.
The Nation learnt that only N150,000 was paid as duty on each of the vehicles. The unit cost ranges between N40 million and N50 million.
The SUVs are two 2010 VXR V8 models and a V8 Land Cruizer.
It is not an offence to use a bullet proof vehicle, but government must know who the end user is and why the person wants it.
Kane said importers devised ingenious ways of cheating the government at the inception of the E-payment policy, which some importers and their agents have refused to embrace.
He said operatives of the FOU who were deployed to patrol the Tin Can Island Ports, would remain there until sanity is restored.
He said two sets of Evaluation Officers who are regarded as their collaborators by the service have been
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