Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has raided some top car marts in Lagos.
The Comptroller General’s Strike Force and officers attached to the Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone ‘A’, Ikeja stormed Berger along Apapa-Oshodi Express Road and other premises across the state.
Many of them were closed on the orders of the Comptroller General of the Service, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), for allegedly retailing smuggled vehicles in the shops.
The Customs Public Relations Officer, Joseph Attah, confirmed the operation to Thisday.
“A number of car marts were shutdown based on credible information that there were smuggled vehicles in these car marts, but the sealing is just temporary. This week, we will assess the situation and advised them accordingly as to what they should do.
“As of now, I don’t have the numbers but those not involved in any bad business were not shutdown. But I can confirm that some numbers have been shutdown. Within the week, customs will take a look at the records of each vehicle in these car marts and appropriate actions will be taken.
“The target is not really to bring any unnecessary hardship to any individual, the idea is to see the possibility of either seizure or recovery of revenue for such vehicles,” he added.
An affected Managing Director said car dealing marts were stormed in a Gestapo style with four trucks load of customs officers who pasted closure notices on their premises.
“All car dealers in Lagos were shutdown, Affordable Cars Limited, Carlink Limited, Ineh Mic Autos, Globe Motors, Coscharis, Skymit Motors, Arrowhead Motors, Wonder Wheels Motors, Auto Point Motors and any name that you can think.
“Even Stallion Motors was affected. The only one I cannot confirm is Toyota Nigeria Limited or Elizade Motors.
“They came and put a sticker, sealed off the place and said come to FOU in Ikeja. That was all. No information or notices. It was not as if they came and found smuggled cars in our premises.
“They didn’t even ask for anything. Globe Motors and Ineh Mic were the first place they went to around 7a.m. They came to my place in the evening. One will expect that they will at least ask for documents but nothing, they just sealed off the place,” he said.
Chukwudi Nwachukwu, another car dealer whose mart was shut, said his documents were up to date.
“I was shocked when my mart was shut. I operate at Oregun and I can tell you that my documents are up to date. I’m taking my documents to take to FOU, Ikeja, for them to unseal my business,” he added.
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