From left:

Assistant Comptroller of Customs,  S.A. Orgu, Deputy Comptroller in charge of Enforcement, Dera Nnadi and the Customs Area Controller of the Tin Can Island Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, Comptroller Bashar Yusuf during the inspection of the two Range Rover cars allegedly stolen from the United States.


The Tin Can Island Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has attributed the interception and seizure of two exotic Range Rover Sports Utility SUV cars, allegedly stolen from the United States of America to a combination of painstaking surveillance and proper handling of intelligence report at its disposal.

The two cars loaded in a 40-foot container with registration no. UACN 548368\1, were imported from Washington D.C in the US, and were wrongly declared as Toyota Tundra and Chevrolet Cruiz with some bicycles.

Customs Area Controller in charge of the command, Comptroller Bashar Yusuf, who gave a vivid description of the processes leading  to the seizure in a chat shortly after handing over the alleged stolen cars to the Interpol Nigeria, which provided the intelligence, said that the command made good use of information it got from the Interpol.

It was gathered that the command had on the receipt of the intelligence, monitored the consignment from the port of loading in Washington DC all through the voyage until it berthed at the port in Lagos, a process that may have taken at least 30 days.

“We monitored the vessel from the port of loading to Tin Can Island Port in Apapa, Lagos and was intercepted on arrival at the Tin Can Island Port”

“Based on the intelligence made available to Customs from Interpol, all consignments from the United States were placed on high surveillance to ensure that the suspected container is tracked”, the CAC stated emphatically

Further details show that the vehicles are gold colour Range Rover SUV 2014 model with chasis no.SALGS2VFGEA126188 and one black colour Range Rover SUV 2015 model with Chasis no. SALGS37FOFA239330.

The controller expressed the deep commitment of the Nigeria Customs Service to partner and share intelligence with all agencies both foreign and local in the spirit of inter-agency collaboration and synergy.

He also said that the synergy between the service and the Interpol, which facilitated the interception of the consignment, will definitely portray the image of Nigeria in good light considering the concerted effort of the command in ensuring that the exhibits were tracked.

He further reiterated the need for Nigerians to desist from acts capable of bringing the country to disrepute, particularly in this era of Information Technology where interception of this nature will be Internet based.

“The Nigeria Customs Service will resist any attempt by any individual or organisation to use Nigeria as a conduit pipe for illicit transactions. Interpol Nigeria will subject the vehicles to due diligence investigation through the courts and will eventually use their internal mechanisms for repatriation of the vehicles to the United States”, he had vowed.

It was further gathered that the Interpol has already commenced investigation into the crime with a view to determining where and from whom the cars were stolen from preparatory to their repatriation to the US.

Recall that the command had penultimate week intercepted and impounded a 20-foot consignment falsely declared as cement for Plaster of Paris POP but contained arms imported from Turkey.

The arms comprising 440 units of various sizes and models of pump action guns of  various categories and species including the single Barrel type, are of the magnum brand and were said to have been manufactured in the United States and Italy.

Meanwhile, Area Controller of the command, Comptroller Bashar Yusuf, had while speaking at the unveiling of the arms, said that the command made optimum use of the intelligence report, leading to the interception and seizure of the consignment.

The Comptroller, who sounded a note of warning to importers of such dangerous products, advised them to look elsewhere, arguing that the interception and seizure of the consignment was an indication that it is no longer business as usual since the service would continuously live to its responsibilities.

He said that the Customs Administration of the 21st century would have to do with a lot of intelligence and profiling of importers.