The Comptroller General of Customs, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hameed Ali, has approved that owners of vehicles impounded in recent raid of car dealer shops for not paying duties should can come forward to pay and take their cars
Operatives of the Federal Operations Unit, Zone B in conjunction with the Strike Force of NCS had recently sealed about 110 car shops in Abuja, Kaduna, Kano, Ilorin, Sokoto, Kebbi and other cities in the north.
This is, the service said, was part of a renewed anti-smuggling campaign aimed at ensuring compliance with import guidelines
Confirming the development, Comptroller of the unit, Mustafa Sarkin-Kebbi said the clamp down on the car shops was in exercise of the extant laws empowering customs operatives to enter any building suspected to have smuggled items.
Sarkin-Kebbi said the CG of Customs had approved that owners of vehicles found to be without proof of duty payment can come forward to pay and collect their vehicles
He disclosed further that his men were applying tact, intelligence and cooperation in the fight against smuggling, saying smugglers were planting informants around Customs operatives to compromise and circumvent their operations.
He added: "The CG has graciously approved that owners of vehicles that have not paid duties and are affected by our raids, can come forward to pay and collect their vehicles. This is a window of opportunity for owners of smuggled vehicles to come forward and pay Customs duty to avoid forfeiture.
"Persons with vehicles that do not have duty papers can also voluntarily come forward to pay duty on such vehicles too. Duty evasion, which robs government of revenue will not be condoned under our watch because our Controller General has declared zero tolerance to such unlawful act."
"It is, no doubt, economic sabotage and will not be allowed to stand. As we speak , our men are intensifying efforts in this exercise which aims at ensuring compliance, collecting maximum revenue for government, discourage smuggling and growing the economy, "Sarkin-Kebbi said.