Hameed Ali, comptroller-general of the Nigeria Customs Service, has directed that owners of vehicles seized or detained will pay the complete duty with 25% penalty levy.
In a circular released by AOB Fatade, assistant comptroller-general, all operations units were mandated to report action on this to the headquarter on a weekly basis.
“The Comptroller-General of Customs has directed that henceforth, all vehicles detained or subject to detention should be allowed to pay the correct and complete Customs duty with the 25% penalty levy.
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“Furthermore, you are directed to note that all vehicles seized and taken into Customs custody (condemned by a competent court of jurisdiction in accordance with the provision of Section 167 of CEMA Cap C45 LFN 2004)shall not enjoy the above privilege consented in paragraph 1.
“Consequently, it shall attract the penalty prescribed in Section 167 referred thereto.”
Section 167 of the Customs and Excise Management act states that: “Any officer or police officer, or any other person authorised in that behalf by the Board, may at any time seize or detain anything liable to forfeiture under the customs and excise laws or which such officer, police officer or other person has reasonable grounds to believe are liable to forfeiture thereunder.
“Anything seized or detained under the customs and excise laws shall forthwith be delivered into the care of the Board and, subject to the provisions of the Third Schedule to this Act, shall, pending the determination as to its forfeiture or disposal, be dealt with, and, if condemned or deemed to have been condemned as forfeited, shall be disposed of, in such manner as the Board may direct.”
Operatives of service recently carried out an operation on a five-star hotel in Abuja and seized four vehicles.