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Nigerian Customs charges 2 for alleged tampering with seal

The Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service recently charged two accused persons Mr. Fares Chawich a Lebanese and his Nigerian accomplice Chief Emmanuel Ekong of 27A Bishop Oluwole Street Victoria Island Lagos and No. 17 Sobo Arobiodu Street GRA Ikeja respectively to the Federal High Court Ikeja for tampering with the Customs seal placed on five exotic vehicles in their premises for clearing discrepancies.
The Controller FOU Zone ‘A’ Ikeja, Controller Turaki Usman Adamu made the disclosure while reacting to mails sent by the media on the subject.
He stated that the Unit was compelled to expediently charge the accused persons to court following the illegal act of breaking Customs seal in violation of Section 145(5) of the Customs and Excise management Act Cap C45 laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004.
The Controller pointed out that intelligence activity led to discovering that the exotic vehicles parked in the premises of the accused in Ikeja GRA were grossly undervalued in clear violation of the Federal Government import policy.
He listed the five vehicles as: BRABUS G800     Model (2013) Chassis No. 212718, Maybach 625     Model (2009) Chassis No. 002513, Mclaren SLR Model (2009) Chassis No. 001960, Aston Martin Model (2009)     Chassis No. 815026, Ferrari 458 Model (2013) Chassis No. 195200.
He stressed that the Unit had written a letter to the accused following intelligence information that the vehicles did not comply with standard import procedure in terms of due diligence. He confirmed that the documents of the vehicles were eventually subjected to system check at the Unit and was discussed that the vehicles were grossly undervalued.
The Controller stated that “in line with Service procedure and in our quest to recover appropriate duty accruable to the vehicles, placed them on Customs seal after raising a detention notice which one Mr. Fares Chawich who stood as surety had undertaken to pay”.
The Controller regretted that instead of the first accused coming forward for regularization of duty, rather broke the seal and removed the vehicles. The Controller added that it was intelligence activity that led to the discovery of one of the vehicles in Victoria Island area of Lagos.
The total amount of outstanding duty from the vehicles stands at N232,964,169.00 (two hundred and thirty two million, nine hundred and sixty four thousand, one hundred and sixty nine naira only).

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