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    Friday, October 6, 2023

    Customs Invites Arik Air Over Cannibalisation Of Three Aircraft

    Following the cannibalisation of three aircraft and subsequent re-exportation of the same machines, the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, has invited the management of Arik Air in receivership.

    Asset Management Company of Nigeria, AMCON, initiated the receivership of Arik  in 2017, following concerns of the airline’s financial instability and its inability to meet its operational obligations.

    The goal of the receivership was to restructure the airline, settle its debts, and ensure its continued operation.

    However, fresh concerns have emerged over an alleged illicit sales of the airline’s aircraft.

    NCS, has also accused the management of Arik Air in receivership over the diversion of import duties to the tune of $40 million.

    Meanwhile, in a document made available to Vanguard titled, ‘Re: Request for Physical Inspection of Boeing 737NG. MSN: 28640, Reg No. 5N-MJI; Bombardier CRJ-900, MSN: 15059, Reg: No: 5N-JEB; And CRJ-900ER, MSN: 15058, Reg. No. 5N-JEA,’ signed by the Comptroller, Customs Intelligence Unit, CIU, I.G. Umar, it stated that the explanation offered to its earlier enquiry on the same airplanes was sketchy and needed further clarification.

    The document reads: “The management of Arik Air are to come in person to the CIU headquarters for better clarification.

    “On the B737NG aircraft with the registration number: 5N-MJI, the service requested the management of the airline to provide evidence of notification of temporary re-exportation or sale, particulars of movement of the aircraft to Malta, evidence of written notification to dismantle the aircraft due to the distressed status of Arik Arik and the approval on same from the customs to the service.

    “Particulars of the executor of the dismantling/destruction process, particulars of seizure and repossession, records/inventory of salvaged parts and location and current storage of the parts are also needed.

    “On the Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft with the registration number: 5N-JEA, the management should also produce an evidence of notification of temporary re-exportation or sale, particulars of movements of the aircraft to Slovenia 2020, detention documents, repossession documents by EDC and current location of the aircraft.

    “This request was in pursuant to the statutory responsibilities as enshrined in the Sections 22, 38, 142(a, b, e, g and h) and 148-151 of the Nigeria Customs Service Act.

    “You are kindly requested to acknowledge receipt of this letter to the office of the undersigned and to schedule an appointment with the service not later than two weeks from the date of the receipt of this letter.”

    It would be recalled that Umar had directed physical examination of the aircraft in question, which were later found to have been exported.

    But, reacting to the demand for a physical inspection of the aircraft aforementioned, Arik in receivership claimed that the aircraft in reference had been seized and repossessed by some lessors and partners of Arik.

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