Officials of the Nigeria Customs Service paid an unexpected visit to Frasier Suites – a hotel located in the Central Business District of the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, on Wednesday, September 2, 2019.
The hotel premises during the raid
The incident which can be described as a raid had no fewer than 12 customs officials fully present in the hotel premises with three of their patrol vehicles from the Zone B, Federal Operation Unit and Strike Force Unit, mounted at the gate.
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Vehicles in the hotel totaling up to 11 were impounded in the operation. According to reports, the Mercedes, Toyota, Benz and Lexus vehicles were without documents of customs duty.
Some of the said vehicles were:
Toyota Prado SUV with plate number RSH500R
- Benz SUV with plate number GWA 665 RZ
- Lexus SUV with plate number EKY650FA
- Benz E Class with plate number ABC 592 TM
- Toyota Prado with plate number ABJ 704CH
Naijauto gathered that the officials on duty were allegedly carrying out orders of the unit’s comptroller.
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Speaking with the desire to remain anonymous, one of the officers said that they got information that vehicles without proper duty documentation were being kept in the premises. According to him, 11 vehicles lacking papers for duties worth several millions of naira unpaid for were found on the premises.
A source at the hotel revealed that four exotic cars were found in the premises of the hotel. This led to the summoning of the car owners to prove their ownership by presenting the original documents.
Investigations showed that besides the hotel, largest car marts were also raided, including Coscharis and Globe Motors.
In related developments, car marts located in Sokoto and Kaduna states were sealed last Monday in line with operations to wage war against illegal smuggling of cars into the country via land borders. Offices of car dealers in Lagos were not left out as they were sealed by the Comptroller-General’s Strike Force and officials from the Ikeja Zone A Federal Operations Unit.