Barely three weeks after the federal government directed the reopening of the land borders, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted eight trailers of 50kg bags of rice, among other seizures worth N100,132,756 at Ogun 1 Command.
The Customs Area Controller, Ogun 1 Command, Comptroller Bamidele Makinde revealed this during a press briefing in Idiroko, today.
Comptroller Makinde lamented that the seized parboiled rice would have had a huge negative effect on the Federal Government agricultural policy if they were allowed to get into the Nigerian market.
Other seized items include: 37.450 Litres of PMS (1.498 kegs of 25 litres each), 300 Cartons of Frozen Poultry Products, 3 Sacks of Cannabis Sativa, 19 speed-boat engines, 900 Pieces of Machetes, 7 Bales and 7 Sacks of foreign used Clothing, 2,195 Pieces of foreign used shoes
The Command also seized 1,020 Pieces/451 Pieces of New/Used Ladies’ Hand Bag, 89 Cartons of Foreign Wine, 22 Cartons of Noni Berry Daily Drink, 8 Units of Vehicle (means of conveyance), 2 Units of Foreign Used Vehicles, 2 Units of Motorcycle (means of conveyance), 35 Cartons and 12 Packets of Tomato Paste.
His words: “We were able to record a total seizure of 4,603 bags/50kg each of foreign parboiled rice (equivalent of 8 trailer loads). It is important to note that the border is open, but for legitimate business. Some of these seizures aren’t contraband; the problem is that they came in through unapproved routes. Nothing stops the importers of engines from coming forward to Customs to legitimately process the documentation for the imports.”
He, however, noted that the Command generated the N6,048,500 from auction sales of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) intercepted at different locations and exit points to Republic of Benin during anti-smuggling operations.
Makinde admonished traders to utilize approved routes for their activities in order to curb colossal fiscal losses from seizures.
“I wish to re-instate here that our intelligence network in the Command is continuously strengthened for an improved and efficient performance. We deploy intelligence in virtually all our operations in the area and greater successes are being recorded on a daily basis.”
“Let me warn the criminal elements in the state that in whichever way and methods you plan your smuggling activities, we shall definitely uncover it, make seizures and arrests which could inflict gross financial injury on such perpetuators,” he stressed.