The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘A’, has intercepted some foreign parboiled rice concealed in gas cylinders and smuggled into the country from the Benin Republic.
The Acting Controller of the Nigeria Customs Service, FOU Zone ‘A’ Usman Yahaya, who confirmed the seizure to The Guardian, said the smugglers were intercepted around Gbaji community in Badagry, area of Lagos with rice, vegetable oil, and poultry products conveyed in 12 different motor vehicles and concealed in gas cylinders.
He said the contrabands were worth a cumulative duty paid value (DPV) of N40.1 million.
Giving the breakdown of the seizure, Yahaya said the Unit intercepted 1,393 bags of smuggled foreign parboiled rice; 187 jerry cans/66 drums of foreign vegetable oil 625 cartons of poultry products; and 50 jerry cans of foreign vegetable oil from unapproved routes within Ogun State between February 5th and 17th, based on surveillance and routine patrol.
This comes barely two weeks after the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd), while on a working visit to Lagos, showcased various seizures made by FOU ‘A’ worth over N10billion.
Yahaya said this desperate act of concealing edible items in gas cylinders by daredevil smugglers further endangers the health of Nigerians.
He warned that unless the economic saboteurs repent from their unscrupulous activities, they would continue to count their losses.
He also advised legitimate traders to be compliant in their declaration, as the Unit is ever ready to facilitate their trade in line with world best practices.
Yahaya also called on all well-meaning Nigerians to support the Service’s fight against smuggling by providing intelligence that could assist the Unit achieve more monumental seizures.