Two civil model Bell Helicopters transported into the country by yet to be identified person/company and seized at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, on November 7, 2016, have been forfeited to the Nigerian Customs Service.
Customs Area Controller, Mr. Frank Allanah, who made the disclosure on Friday, put the import duty value of the helicopters and their accessories – 23 packages weighing 11,475 kg – at N9,757,135,240.86k.
He said the choppers have been handed over to the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to assist in fight against the Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeast.
The service explained that the unknown importer failed to produce end user certificate from the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) in contravention of Section 36 (2) of the Customs and Excise Management Act.
Allanah added that the helicopters were flown in as a consignment with Airway Bill Number 17232444403 through the airport in Lagos.
He recalled that oficials who examined the consignment found two civil models 412 EP of serial numbers 36608 and 36606 Bell Helicopters respectively, in standard configuration.
The choppers were impounded and detained at the Skyways Aviation Handling Company Limited (SAHCOL) pending fulfillment of all legal requirements for the importation which the owners never failed to produce.