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Customs CG’s Strike Force Impounds five trucks of smuggled rice in one week 


ABIOLA Seun       |        

The Comptroller General of Customs’ strike Force on smuggling of foreign parboiled rice has intercepted five trailers load of rice from Ogun State.

The smuggled rice, numbering about 3000 bags of 50kg has a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N42m which were concealed inside containers and trucks belonging to corporate organisations.

This interception is coming barely a week after the minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbe hinted about the planned closure of the land borders due to massive smuggling of rice into the country.

But speaking to newsmen over the weekend, the Zonal commander of the strike force, Zone A,  AC Salisu Assaba Bullah said the interception was made at Ijebu Ode,  Ogun State. 

According to him, the strike force was able to make the seizure through intelligence it gathered on the fresh way of smuggling parboiled rice into the country.

Assaba Bullah explained, “The CGC task force intercepted 3000 bags of 50kg rice smuggled into the country. They were intercepted along Ijebu Ode expressway with two suspects in custody.”

He stated further, “We were able to get intelligence report that container laden trucks were taken to the border area, loaded with smuggled rice and put seal as if it were a container released from seaports.”

The strike force commander, who attributed the success recorded to the other members of the team also acknowledged the federal government approval of brand new pickup for anti-smuggling which he said aided in the recent interception made. 

On 7th of June 2016, the Federal Executive Council presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari approved the sum of N1,550,187,713.00 for the procurement of 68 brand new Ford Pickup operational vehicles for Customs. 

The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, who briefed State House Correspondents alongside the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning and the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, explained that the operational vehicles currently available for the service are grossly inadequate for effective anti-smuggling activities.

She added that the need to effectively patrol the borders of the country, enhance Customs’ bid to suppress smuggling and increase revenue collection gave rise to the request to purchase 68 operational vehicles.

Adeosun further explained that having identified the need, the Service made provision for the purchase of 68 operational vehicles, Hilux, in its 2017 capital appropriation.

Assaba Bullah stated that the strike force got nine vehicles from the 68 vehicles approved by FEC for anti-smuggling and in two weeks, the strike force was able to intercept 3000 smuggled rice. 

He however advised smugglers to engage in legitimate business as the ad-hoc body knows their antics and they will be caught.  

“After the FG’s approval of anti – smuggling vehicles, the zonal strike force was given nine vehicles and we have been able to make these large seizures.”

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