Photo: Mr Adewale Adeniyi, Customs CG.
Smugglers using fake presidential number plates —Customs
Mr Chedi Wada, Comptroller, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone “B”, Kaduna, says smugglers are using fake presidential number plates to deliver vehicles across the country.
According to Wada, the economic saboteurs have also been dubiously using fake number plates belonging to various state and local governments, MDAs, Emirate Councils and other governmental institutions.
Wada disclosed this when he received Mr Bashir Rabe-Mani, Zonal Manager (ZM), News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Kaduna Zonal Office, who paid him a courtesy call in his office.
He said: ”Customs will not relent; we will continue to do our best by not allowing smugglers to use the old tactics of using the presidential number plates and other governmental institutions to smuggle luxurious vehicles into the country.
”This is one of the menaces we are having. It is saddening how vehicle smugglers are ridiculing the apex seat in the country by using presidential fake plate numbers using them on newly smuggled cars to deceive customs.”
According to him, the NCS has well trained personnel, who can easily identify fake numbers and cannot be played by the old tricks.
The Comptroller said: “We are not happy with them, it is too bad for them to be playing with the presidency, that’s why we always put a heavy hammer on those using the presidency on false instances on smuggled vehicles.
“Let them respect the presidency, we must respect the presidency that is leadership.”
Wada disclosed that the FOU under his command had impounded lots of such vehicles with fake number plates including those of local governments, ministries and lots of government institutions.
He said that the service was saddled with the responsibility of suppressing anti-smuggling activities, revenue and trade facilitation while implementing other governmental policies.
The comptroller said that the service was committed to saving Nigeria’s economy by bringing smugglers down to the ground by suppressing their activities.
Wada said that the media have been assisting the NCS in extending what they were doing to the public, adding that many people do not understand how the rules of the customs are and why certain actions are taken.
“Some will say customs will come to their houses to take contraband, but all this will be amplified through the media on what the rules and regulations are.
“According to the Act of Customs, on getting an intelligence, customs can enter the premises and take contraband away, possibly arrest and prosecute.
”People expect customs to notify them of any planned seizure at their houses or shops or arrest. If I inform you that I am coming, what stops you from taking away the exhibit,” Wada further said.
He said that since his assumption of duty in the zone six weeks ago, the NCS has made a lot of impact, including the seizure of various items.
While noting that the system was working, Wada added that the NCS would undertake an investigation depending on what was obtained and possible prosecution.
The Comptroller further called on Nigerians to be interested in customs jobs and know what was happening at the customs in all areas including its social media platforms
Wada also appreciated the NAN ZM for the visit while assuring him of his continuous collaboration with the press and the agency.