In a public warning to Nigerians in Lagos on Monday, Godwin Andishu, the Public Relations Officer, Tin Can Island Port 2 Customs Command in Ijora, disclosed that the Nigeria Customs Service is warning the public against falling to the antics of fraudsters who post fake auction advertisements purportedly by the service in the social media.
According to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), he said the warning became imperative because of the increasing complaints by Nigerians who had been duped by some unscrupulous elements through such advertisements.
Andishu explained that it was not the practice of customs to place auction advertisements of abandoned vehicles in its custody in the social media, urging the public to disregard such posts in their own interest.
“We wish to tell the general public that those advertisements on social media purportedly by us calling for people to send money to purchase abandoned vehicles in our custody are misleading.
“We do not auction or sell vehicles online; those who are posing as customs officers are fraudsters who are out to defraud Nigerians of their hard-earned money.
“Nigerians should disregard such advertisements as the service only advertises items to be auctioned on its official website, detailing the procedures to follow by members of the public.
“The NSC does not operate any private account and no personnel of the service are authorized to collect money on its behalf into any account.
“The fraudsters are all over the place using the name of the customs to perpetrate their nefarious acts. People should act wisely by ignoring them,“ he said.
Andishu said the service had not had any auction since August 2015 on the directive of the Comptroller-General, Col. Hammed Ali, adding that the forensic unit of the service had been consistently tasked to fish out these dishonest elements and make them face the wrath of the law.
The spokesman said the unit had recently arrested 12 of such fraudsters and they were being investigated for appropriate actions.
Andishu also warned job seekers against falling to the antics of those who asked them for money for recruitment into the service, saying the service had no recruitment agent.
“We are a responsible organisation; we do not ask for money for employment,“ he said.