BY Innocent Orok
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has denied reports that its anti smuggling operatives disrupted guests privacy at an Abuja hotel during its operations to retrieve suspected smuggled vehicles parked in the premises of the hotel.
This was contained in a statement issued yesterday by the National Public Relations Officer of the NCS, Deputy Comptroller Joseph Attah.
According to the statement , ” The attention of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has been drawn to misinformation making the rounds concerning visit of our operatives to an Abuja Hotel to remove suspected smuggled vehicles yesterday.
“Our operatives, relying on intelligence that owners of some exotic cars ( including bullet proof) without duty payment quickly removed their vehicles from a car mart and took same to Frasier hotel Abuja.
“On arrival at the hotel, our operatives interacted with the manager and eventually left with four vehicles leaving six behind, while expecting the manager to provide the keys to the cars left behind.
“However, the manager this morning (yesterday) gave a written undertaking to produce a Customs vehicle duty payment documents to support his claim that the vehicles were not smuggled.
We assured him of prompt release of the vehicles as soon as evidence of appropriate duty payments are presented.” the release said.
Attah said that it was surprising for the Service to wake up to hear mischievous misrepresentation of what he called “professional engagement”.
“Unfortunately , we woke up to mischievous misrepresentation of an otherwise professional engagement with the manager that had nothing to do with the guests in the hotel.
Some even went as far as saying that the operatives went from room to rooms waking up guests to come out for vehicle verification. Nothing could be farther from the truth.”
The Customs spokesman in the Statement denied the Service infringement on the rights and comfort of the guests in the hotel. While advising Nigerians to discountenance such lies, assuring that the NCS will continue to work in the interest of Nigerians.
“NCS did not do such thing and has no intention to start raiding hotels. Our operatives never infringed on the rights and comfort of guests in the hotel.
While advising Nigerians to be wary of social posts, we urge members of the public to discountenance the fabrication as NCS will continue to work in the interest of Nigerians.”