By Teddy Nwanunobi
Abuja (Sundiata Post) — The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), on Wednesday, said that it is yet to “establish the true owner” of the 11 vehicles it seized in Kano.
The vehicles, 10 Hilux and one (1) Land Cruiser Jeep, were smuggled from Maigatari, Jigawa State to a house at Magaji Rumfa, GRA Kano State.
Officers of the Service, upon discovery that there were no occupants in the house, forced it opened to retrieve the smuggled vehicles.
Customs’ Public Relations Officer, Joseph Attah, who made the disclosure in a statement, said that the Service is still investigating the smuggled vehicles to establish their true owner(s).
“The attention of Nigerian Customs Service has been drawn to a mischievous publication in some prints and online platforms that the service has seized vehicles belonging to a senator in Kano.
“Since this is capable of misleading the public into wrong insinuations, it is imperative to state the facts.
“That the Operatives of NCS Compliance Team, based on credible intelligence, trailed the movement of some smuggled vehicles from Maigatari, Jigawa State to a house at Magaji Rumfa, GRA Kano.
“On the 7th February, 2017, eleven (11) vehicles, 10 Hilux and one (1) Land cruiser jeep were retrieved from the house at Magaji Rumfa GRA, Kano and taken for detention at the HQ of Customs Area Command Kano.
“That the officers discovered there were no occupants in the house, hence the gate was forced opened to retrieve the smuggled vehicles.
“That investigation into the smuggling of the vehicles is still on to establish the true owner.
“From the above, it is clear that whoever introduced the “senator” angle to the story is out for pure mischief and does not represent the position of the service on this issue.
“Accordingly, the false and misleading report should be discountenanced please,” the statement read.
Sundiata Post reports that this is the second time in 16 days that a Federal Government’s agency is not able to identity the real owner(s) of a smuggled item.
It would be recalled that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Tuesday, March 14, intercepted the sum of N49 million in five large black 150kg colored BUHU sacks, following a tip off.
EFCC official, over-watching the intercepted N49 million
“Investigation into the case is in top gear to unravel the culprits behind the attempted illegal movement of the cash,” the Commission said in a statement.
On March 16, EFCC secured secured an interim forfeiture order on the abandoned N49 million cash, which was granted by Justice S.M Shuaibu of the Federal High Court Kaduna, ordering that the money be forfeited to the Federal Government, pending the hearing and determination of motion on notice filed by the EFCC.
“The order was made pursuant to Section 17 (2) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related offences Act 2006 as there is no individual(s) coming forward to claim the said sum after over 72 hours of getting the intelligence report from the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Kaduna,” EFCC said.