The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) officers on Wednesday stormed Fraser Suites in Abuja.
The operation occurred at about 8pm.
An eyewitness told newsmen on Thursday that officers in uniform and plain clothes entered the premises in three Hilux trucks.
He said: “They were after all the exotic cars in the hotel premises. After taking the registration numbers of about twelve cars, which included Mercedes Benz S and C series, Audi A8 Sedan and Lexus 570 SUVs.
“Drivers of these cars had gone out so Customs were not able to get their details. An attempt to tow the cars away was met with stiff resistance by the hotel management.
“Consequently, the officers used one of their Hilux to block the hotel entrance. It was later resolved, after both parties made calls, that the officers wait till the morning when the drivers are back.
“On Thursday morning, they went straight to a grey coloured Lexus LX 570 SUV and spoke to the driver and Chief Wole Olanipekun’s PA, who showed them the vehicle papers.
“In the process, he came out of the hotel heading to the court. A senior Customs officer exchanged words with him, because the custom officer made several calls and after he insisted the vehicle should not leave the premises.
“This angered the Senior Advocate who called the hotel to arrange for an alternative car since he was late for the court. He was eventually driven in a small Honda Civic car out of the premises.”
Customs Public Relations Officer, Joseph Attah, did not pick calls as at press time. He was also yet to reply to a text message enquiry.
The development came a few days after NCS operatives raided some popular car marts in Lagos.
The Comptroller General’s Strike Force and officers attached to the Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone ‘A’, Ikeja stormed Berger along Apapa-Oshodi Express Road and other premises across the state.
Many of them were closed on the orders of the Comptroller General of the Service, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), for allegedly retailing smuggled vehicles in the shops.
Among those affected were Affordable Cars Limited, Carlink Limited, Ineh Mic Autos, Globe Motors, Coscharis, Skymit Motors, Arrowhead Motors, Wonder Wheels Motors, Auto Point Motors and Stallion Motors.
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