Customs: Interception Of 20 Containers Loaded With Expired Tomato Concentrates In Lagos Port

Twenty containers loaded with expired tomato concentrates were intercepted at the Tin-Can Island port in Lagos State, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has said.

According to the acting Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, the expired tomato concentrates were seized by the Port and Terminal Multiservice Limited (PTML) Command of the Service on August 8, 2023, with one suspect arrested.

While displaying the seized containers on Friday, Adeniyi revealed that the expired tomato concentrates have a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N116 million.

He said Nikecristy Investment Limited imported the expired products, and it was declared that the content was almond shells.

The NCS boss further explained that the act by an importer to bring into the country a large quantity of expired food products was heartless and inexcusable.

Speaking further during the display of the expired product, Adeniyi said, “Today, we stand before you to announce a remarkable seizure at PTML. We have successfully intercepted and detained a staggering 20 containers filled with expired tomato concentrate, an unprecedented event since the inception of this command.

“On the 8th of August, 2023, during a routine examination, our vigilant officers at PTML uncovered a cache of expired tomato concentrate, deemed unsafe for human consumption. The audacity of the smugglers to attempt introducing this hazardous product into the Nigerian market is both shocking and disheartening.

“These expired tomato concentrates were concealed within 20 containers, each falsely declared as containing almond shells, all under the auspices of a company identified as Nikecristy Investment Limited. In each container, 80 drums were meticulously arranged, amounting to a total of 1,600 drums. The Duty Paid Value of this illegal cargo is a staggering sum of N116.2 million.

“As of now, all these containers remain in our custody, officially recorded as seizures. We have apprehended one suspect, Mr. Okonkwo Oliver Izunna, who is currently under administrative bail but remains under investigation.

“This seizure, which was processed through three separate single good declarations (SGDs) forms, is a testament to our unwavering commitment to maximally suppress smuggling and our determination to safeguard the lives of Nigerian citizens by intercepting dangerous imports such as these.

“The actions taken by those involved in this unlawful activity contravene the provisions of sections 228(1) and (2), 55 (c and d), and 233 of the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023. Additionally, it directly violates Schedule 4, item 14 of the Common External Tariff (CET) 2022-2026.

I would like to take this opportunity to send a stern warning to importers and their agents, urging them to steer clear of unlawful practices such as false declarations aimed at evading duties or smuggling prohibited goods into our country.”

Culled from Naijanews