Customs Intercepts Smuggled Rice, Vehicles Worth N118m In Lagos, Ogun

Abiola Seun

Few days after the Federal Operations Unit(FOU), Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service intercepted bales of textile materials and about 25,000 bags of foreign parboiled rice, the Comptroller General of Customs Strike Force has intercepted five trucks of rice allegedly smuggled into the country from Benin Republic.

The Zone A Strike Force team led by the Deputy Comptroller of Customs Yahaya Biri also intercepted other banned items such as frozen chicken, groundnut oil, bales of used cloths among others.

According to the coordinator, the contrabands were intercepted along the Badagry waterways in Lagos last week.

The unit  moved into the waterways where smugglers seems to be holding sway in their illicit trade.

Yahaya, in a press statement made available to journalists disclosed that the unit impounded the five  truck-load of smuggled 50kg rice products along Alibaba Street at Iyana-sash waterside in Agbara-Badagry axis on the 30th of June, 2019.
The seizure operations which according to him was led by Chief Superintendent of Customs (CSC) Esiet was made possible by the vibrant information network of the unit.
Aside one of the trucks with registration number AGL665XL which is a standard lorry size that was used in conveying the contraband rice products, other trucks with registration numbers AAA534DU, GGE427XU, LXR27XV were completely reconstructed and reinforced to withstand pressure as well as have the capacity to convey large quantities of smuggled goods and easily access the marshy terrain.
The quantities of the seizure is however not ascertained as at the time of this report.
Meanwhile, the Zone ‘A’ Strike Force led by the no nonsense and resilient DC Yahaya had recorded a total of 68 seizures from its advent on May 14, 2019 the time he took over the mantle of leadership up to June 30, 2019.
In the overall performance report of the unit under the period in review, a total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of the seizure items is put at N118millon.
In the breakdown of the seizure, a total quantity of 6.580 (50kg) rice seizure with N87,202,108.00 DPV was recorded, along with the seizure of 1,292 kegs of 25 litres vegetable oil with N12.2illion was recorded in the same period under review.
Similarly, 1, 607 cartons of Foreign Poultry products with N15.4million DPV were as well apprehended by the zone ‘A’ strike Force and 17 bales of second hand clothing with 1.2million plus two vehicles which includes one Peugeot and a fiat bus with a total of N2.09million Duty Paid Value.
However, the total DPV of the seizure items in the period of 47days under review is N118million
Yahaya however appealed to smugglers and economic saboteurs still operating within the zone to have a rethink, and obey government economic policies and join hand with customs in building a nation of our dreams. He however warned unwilling and unrepentant smugglers and economic saboteurs within the zone against their illicit operations, noting that his officers and men are battle ready to take them out of business.

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