Search Site: OnlineNigeria

Close



EFCC probes N5bn container scam in customs

Posted by By Ayodele Aminu on 2007/02/26 | Views: 820 |

EFCC probes N5bn container scam in customs


The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has commenced investigations into a scam involving over 450 containers valued at about N5 billion at the Nigerian Customs Service.

The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has commenced investigations into a scam involving over 450 containers valued at about N5 billion at the Nigerian Customs Service.

Sources disclosed that the containers were part of the allocations to some party faithfuls, top government officials and influential individuals in the country. The allocations were said to have been made at the expense of the low class who had earlier been allocated with such containers.

The EFCC probe according to information, was as result of complaints that most of the containers in question were dually allocated to beneficiaries by a syndicate within Customs. Some of the beneficiaries that got enmeshed in the racket, it was learnt, were said to have cried foul on discovering that their auction allocations, which had been paid for had earlier been cleared by other allottees.

"The syndicate normally collects about N200, 000 from their unsuspecting victims before issuing out the allocation papers to them. It is not that the allocation papers given to them were fake, but given to as much as three four allottees. Thereafter, they would be told to go and pay the normal customs charges on the allocations. On getting to the point of payment, they would now discover that the containers allocated to them had earlier been cleared by another allottee.

You know that this can be regarded as mistake if it involves one or two cases, but there are several of these double deals and upon investigation, it was discovered that a powerful syndicate was behind the whole thing," the source disclosed.

Before EFCC wade into the scam, it was learnt that the Presidency had been undisturbed with petitions from politicians, private individuals and corporate bodies.

A Chief Superintendent of Customs, Mr. Mbah, in charge of inspection at Onne, Rivers State, is presently chatting with the EFCC. Ditto for his counterpart at Ikorodu Lighter Terminal, who has also been invited for questioning in Abuja.

Consequently, the EFCC and the management of Customs have directed that all forms of container examination be stopped at both the Ikorodu and Onne, pending the outcome of the on-going investigation of the scam.

But while the EFCC investigations are on, our sources noted that Deputy Comptroller General, Kayode Ogundeji who signs allocation papers "is still at a loss as to how the syndicate cunningly manipulated him into signing double allocation papers on the affected containers."

After several failed attempts to get comments on this development from the the National Public Relations Officer of Customs, Mr. Wale Adeniyi through phone calls, he eventually returned the call, claiming not to be aware because he has been out of the country for the past two weeks.

"I am not aware of these developments because I just came into the country this morning. I have been out of the country for two weeks. But if you can wait till 11.am tomorrow morning (this morning), Iíll be able to confirm,"í he said.

Just recently, it was reported that about 4,000 out of the 13,000 workforce of the Customs would be fired for various reasons ranging from old age, academic reasons and corrupt practices.

Read Full Story Here.... :
Leave Comment Here :