A 35 years old man, Abdul Umar, who claimed to be a National Youth Service Corps member (NYSC) member has been arrested by operatives of the Nigerian Customs Service, Seme Command while driving a Renault car with diplomatic plate number.
It was learnt that as at the time of his arrest, the suspect was trying to cross into neighbouring Benin Republic with the car.
The Customs Area Comptroller of Seme Customs Command, Mohammed Uba Garba, made this known while addressing newsmen yesterday.
He said when the suspect was accosted by operatives of the service, he showed some diplomatic documents in form of ‘To Whom It May Concern’, which gives the vehicle immunity from being stopped or arrested.
It was also gathered that part of the documents which the suspect paraded contains phone numbers of prominent people in Nigeria, including the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and some other falsified documents.
He said: “In the documents, it was stated clearly that if the vehicle is stopped, the Inspector General of Police should be contacted.
“On further interrogation, we found out that he had a 2014 NYSC ID card on him. When we asked him why he is parading such ID card, he said that he had issues with NYSC, that was why he has not gone to collect his certificate.
“Since ID cards or phone numbers of highly placed persons are not part of Customs clearance procedure, we then demanded for the documents of the vehicle, only to find out that the documents in the vehicle were indicating a Primera vehicle while the vehicle itself is Renault. Inside the vehicle was another plate number, so we are currently investigating the matter to know the true situation of things.”
On the revenue profile of the Command, Garba revealed that the Seme Customs command has so far generated N1,475,050,377.91 only in terms of seizures and revenue in 2019 first quarter.
“The seizures made in 2019 so far are 4,745 bags of 50kg foreign rice equivalent to 8 trailers of fully loaded rice; 27 by 25 litres of vegetable oil jerry cans; 34 by 50kg of bags of Sugar; 261 by 25 litres of Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS); and 80 cartons of poultry products.
“Other seizures are 95 by 6 yards of new textile materials; 24 cartons of maggi; 20 pieces of household effects; 19 boxes of frozen seafoods; 68 parcel of Tramadol; 10 parcels of Carnabis; 220 by 6 yards of Ankara textiles; and 180 sacks of scrap metal among others.
“The Tramadol and Carnabis have been successfully handed over to the NDLEA, with one of the suspect getting a two year sentence after diligent prosecution.
“A total of 23 vehicles (17 fairly used and 6 means of conveyance) were also seized in the period under review. Among them are Toyota Highlander 2013, Hyundai Azera Limited 2016, Toyota Camry 2010, Toyota Corolla 2012, Volvo FL7 285 Truck amongst others,” the Seme Customs boss added.