Customs seizes 2 helicopters at Lagos airport, hands them over to Air Force

THE Murtala Muhammed International Airport,
Lagos Command of Nigerian Customs Service,
NCS, yesterday seized two Bell civil models l
Helicopters which were imported into the
country last year but remained unclaimed at
the ware house of the Skyways Aviation
Handling Company Limited ,SAHCOL, at the
cargo section of the airport. The two
abandoned helicopters have therefore been
handed over to the Nigerian Air Force to fight
insurgency in the North East.
Confirming the seizure yesterday, the Customs
Area Controller, Frank Allanah disclosed that
the duty paid value of the two helicopters and
other accessories was over N9,757,135,240.86.
He also said the helicopters were flown into
the country as a consignment with Airway Bill
Number 17232444403 through the Murtala
Muhammed International Airport.
He added that the helicopters were detained at
the Skyways Aviation Handling Company
Limited (SAHCOL) shed pending fulfilment of
all legal requirements for the importation .
According to him, “upon examination, the
consignment was found to contain two civil
models 412 EP of serial numbers 36608 and
36606 Bell Helicopters respectively, in standard
configuration and 23 packages said to contain
their accessories weighing eleven thousand four
hundred and seventy five kilogrammes ( 11,075
kg).”
“The unknown importer could not produce end
user certificate from the office of the National
Security Adviser ( NSA) an act which
contravenes section 36 sub section two
Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA)
laws of the federation of Nigeria 2004.
Consequently seizure was effected on
November 7, 2016 in line with section 46 of
CEMA.”
However, there are reports that the two Bell
Helicopters were imported by Rivers State
Government during the Rotimi Amaechi’s
administration. An official of SAHCOL, who
does not want to be named, confirmed that the
choppers were imported by Rivers State
Government. He also said Customs reserves
the right to seize any aircraft or imported item
if the importer fails to show up for clearance
and payment of necessary duty on the
consignment.
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