Customs seizes 1,393 bags of rice hidden in gas cylinders (Photo)

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), has uncovered a new strategy being deployed by smugglers.

The Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A, Ikeja, Wednesday said it intercepted 1, 393 bags of rice concealed in gas cylinders within Ogun State between 5th and 17th February, 2020.

Also impounded were 625 cartons of frozen chicken, 187 jars and 66 drums of vegetable oil among many other items within the period under review.

The Acting Controller of FOU Zone A, Usman Yahaya, who made disclosure attributed the breakthrough to unrelenting efforts of his men, saying it has continued to yield more result in his anti-smuggling drives.

“Barely two weeks after the Comptroller-General of Customs’ working visit to Lagos where he showcased various seizures made by FOU A worth over N10 billion, we have again intercepted 1,393 bags of smuggled foreign parboiled rice, 187 jerrycans/66 drums of foreign vegetable oil and 625 cartons of poultry products from unapproved routes within Ogun State between 5th -17th February 2020 based on surveillance and routine patrol,” Yahaya said.
The items, which were conveyed in 12 different vehicles and also concealed in gas cylinders, have a cumulative duty paid value (DPV) of N40.14 million.

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“This desperate act by these dare-devil smugglers concealing edible items in a gas cylinder further justifies the hard chase by operatives of Customs. DPV of each type of seized items include rice, N27.86 million; vegetable oil, N6.28 million, and frozen poultry N6 million,” a statement by the zone’s spokesman, Jerry Attah, read.

Yahaya, a deputy comptroller of Customs, warned smugglers to repent from their unscrupulous activities, or continue to count their losses as his unit would continue to be a source of nightmare to the economic saboteurs.
He also advised legitimate traders to be compliant in their declarations as the unit is ever ready to facilitate their trade in line with world best practices.

He called on all meaningful Nigerians to support the service’s fight against smuggling activities by providing intelligence that could assist the unit achieve more monumental seizures.

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