Fraser Hotel Raid: We Didn’t Infringe on Rights and Comfort of Guests—Customs

Gift Olivia Samuel, The Sight News

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has on Thursday set the records straight, over the visit of it operatives to an Abuja Hotel, to remove suspected smuggled vehicles.

This is just as it refuted the claims, that it operatives went from room to room waking up guests to come out for vehicle verification, stressing that nothing of such happened.

Recall that some news outlets had reported that the NCS invaded the Fraser Suites located at the Central Business District in Abuja, harassing guests to pay duty on their expensive cars.

According to Saharareporters, the customs operatives surrounded the hotel and ordered owners of exotic and expensive cars in the hotel to come out, forcing some sleeping guests to wake up.

However, in a statement obtained by The Sight News and signed by the Customs Public Relations Officer, DC Joseph Attah, the NCS emphasized that it didn’t do such, and has no intention to start raiding hotels.

The statement partly read, “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 Fraser hotel Abuja.

“On arrival at the hotel, our operatives interacted with the manager and eventually left with 4 vehicles  leaving 6 behind, while expecting the manager to provide the keys to the cars left behind.

“However, the manager this morning 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.

“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 room waking up guests to come out for vehicle verification.

“Nothing could be farther from the truth. NCS did not do such a thing and has no intention to start raiding hotels. Our operatives never infringed on the rights and comfort of guests in the hotel,” it stated.

While advising Nigerians to be wary of social posts, the NCS urged members of the public to discountenance the ‘fabrication’, adding that the Service will continue to work in the interest of Nigerians. 

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