Mr Jibrin told journalists in Lagos that apart from the offence of false declaration, the importer also contravened the law, as it failed the requirement for license and quota expected for importers of allowable fish species into Nigeria.
According to him, “as part of our collective resolve to ensure strict compliance with government import prohibition rule, we recently uncovered an attempt to smuggle tilapia fish into the country. In a bid to evade detection and arrest, the importer made a false declaration that the 1x40ft container was laden with apples,” he said.
He added, ”while scanning, we discovered this to be untrue as the container contained 2700 cartons of tilapia frozen fish from Turkey. The aforementioned fish species is under restriction. More so, importers of allowable species of fish are expected to obtain license and permit and necessary quota before such importation into the country.”
Consequent upon this false declaration, Nigeria Customs Service Apapa hereby declare this container with number DFOU6122880 seized, while investigation is ongoing to bring all the accomplices to book. The duty paid value (DPV) is about N22,193,384.00 ” Mr Jubrin informed. The Area Controller, who paraded a suspect before newsmen, said investigations were ongoing on the seizure, adding that his command had opened communication with relevant agencies like National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) on the seizure. While fielding questions from reporters, the Controller ruled out the possibility of destroying the seized fish, as he added that the command would await further directive from its headquarters on how to dispose of it.