By Stephen Ubanna
Mohammed Aliyu, Comptroller , Federal Operations Unit, FOU, Zone A, described as a fearless anti-smuggling officer, appears to have thrown spanners in the work of the rich in Lagos, forcing many of them to cry out for help that would never come.
For years these” novae de rich” have been involved in smuggling bullet proof and other exotic vehicles from Republic of Benin into the country without payment of duty. The situation was so bad between late last
With the backing of Aliyu, the Area Comptroller at FOU, Zone A, he has dared the rich who believe that they could smuggle bullet proof vehicles into the country without going through the office of the NSA to obtain the necessary permits. A senior Customs officer who spoke to The Value News said these novae ‘de rich are rich to smuggle the bullet proof or any other exotic vehicle into the country but they should wait for Aliyu, who would not hesitate to send out the Command Operations and Lagos Roving team to go after them.
I strategise before sending out any on any operations in any part of the south western states of Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Eki and Ondo. It was not surprising why the Riks led Operations and Lagos Roving team could break into any premises in Lagos on suspicion that smuggled exotic vehicles were kept.
The Value News cited about ten of such exotic vehicles including a bullet proof of 1919 model last Tuesday at the Command premises, Ikeja. There are indications that the detained exotic vehicles may be more than the numbers as some are parked behind the back of the office Complex and at the workshop turned Government warehouse.
The Magazine learnt the
The owner of the 1919 model bullet proof , according to sources was said to have been shuttling between Abuja and Lagos to reach out to his contacts in the Presidency to force Hameed Ali, a retired Army Colonel and Comptroller General , Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, to give the nod to the Comptroller to release the bullet proof to him. It was learnt on his part he has made several attempts to reach out to Aliyu, the Command Area, who would not hesitate to arrest him if he dares come to his office to solicit for the release of the vehicle.
Perhaps, one area, that the FOU, Zone A, Customs Comptroller has made an appreciable impact in the recent time was the seizure of donkey skins earmarked for export to the Chinese market . Note that for years, Chinese donkey skin agents who established contacts with dealers in the south west and other parts of the country without the Customs personnel at the seaports intercepting any of the cargoes. Aliyu , the FOU, Zone A, Customs Comptroller, may have opened the eye of his counterparts at the seaports about the trade in donkey skin in the country that they now look with suspicion export cargoes to the Asian country of China.
Note that last May the Command impounded two ”20” Container load of donkey skin, at Okota axis , in Alimosho local government area of Lagos state. The two ”20” Containers was said to have loaded with 100, 000 pieces of the donkey skin , which Valuation experts put at about N15 billion. Another major seizure was an alleged ”40” Container of donkey skin in a warehouse owned by a Chinese Company in an undisclosed location in Ibadan, Oyo state. Only recently, the Command was said to had made an additional 3,800 pieces of donkey skin in Ogun state.
Muhammed ,the Seme Customs Comptroller may have known that since the rich have taken over the business of dealing with the Chinese donkey skin buyers, the dealers may want to open a channel of smuggling the prohibited animal skin to Republic of Benin to sell to their Chinese Customers who may have made the necessary arrangement to export it it the port of Coton
In a related development, giving that all the various patrol teams of the FOU, Zone A, are now making seizures of foreign parboiled rice, Aliyu, the Area, Comptroller , who had earlier set up an anti-rice and petroleum product smuggling teams was said to have found reasons to dissolve the teams.
An officer who confided on the Magazine that the dissolution of the two teams, which were stationed at Gbaji and Idiroko axis have brought relief to the resident officers. The officer disclosed that it has restored dignity and respect to the Command officers at the Borders. This is because once a vehicle plying the Boder, particular, Seme, were flagged for the normal routine check members of the two teams would rush looking out for rice. They ran into trouble when of the anti-rice team members molested an Air Force officer for carrying rice in the both of his
In anger, the officer was said to have mobilised his Colleagues to the Gbaji Check point, forcing the Customs personnel on duty to flee. It took the intervention of Adahunse Rashid, a Deputy Comptroller, Enforcement, who quickly reached out to Aliyu, the FOU, Zone a, Comptroller, for peace to be restored in the area.
Perhaps, this may have informed the reason why the FOU, Zone A, Customs