The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Niger/ Kogi Area Command on Thursday disclosed that it has intercepted two hundred and ninety-two (292) bags of foreign rice illegally smuggled into the country by some suspected smugglers.
Public Relations Officer of the command, Benjamin Lomba made this declaration via a statement made available to DAILY POST.
The seizure of the two hundred and ninety-two bags of foreign rice by the command is coming more than two months after the closure of Nigerian borders.
DAILY POST recalls that the command had in October intercepted no fewer than one thousand four hundred and eighty-two bags of foreign rice and eight cars allegedly smuggled into the country by smugglers.
But, Lomba while speaking on the latest seizure maintained that the seized rice was found in one Iveco fourteen (14) tyre truck with two different registration plate numbers XD 146 LSD (in front) and XD 146 SLD (behind).
He said the foreign rice with duty paid value worth of four million, nine hundred and sixty-four thousand naira, (N4,964,000.00), was concealed with sugarcane.
He added that the truck was intercepted along Dikko-Suleja-Abuja road of Niger State by one of the patrol teams led by ASC I Mohammed Bature on information patrol in the early hours of Wednesday, 6th November 2019.
Lomba in the statement said, “It has been a harvest of seizures for the Command justifying our committed resolve at bringing down to the barest minimum the incidence of smuggling within the Command area of operation. The most remarkable of these feats this month so far is:
“One Iveco fourteen (14) tyre truck with two different registration plate numbers XD 146 LSD (in front) and XD 146 SLD (behind), loaded with Two hundred and Ninety-Two (292) 50kg bags of imported rice concealed with sugarcane in order to beat our officers on routine patrol. This was intercepted along Dikko-Suleja-Abuja road of Niger State by one of the patrol team led by ASC I Mohammed Bature on information patrol in the early hours of Wednesday, 6th November 2019. The Duty paid value of the rice is N4,964,000
“It is unfortunate that despite the considerable quantity of Rice and Vehicular seizures in this Command in the past, some saboteurs have continued to engage in the unpatriotic act of smuggling. If you recall barely two weeks ago the Command intercepted a diesel truck loaded with 197 (50kg) bags of imported rice with duty paid value of N3,349,000.
“We have continued to record victory over these recalcitrant saboteurs, last month (October) the Command re-sharpened intelligence network led to an arrest of five (5) seizures comprising: 1,481 (50kg) bags of imported foreign rice with DPV of N25,177,000, Five (5) vehicles with DPV of N14,337,000, Nine (9) bales of Second-hand clothing with DPV of N720,000.
“These above seizures were made at different locations within the Command namely: Wawa, Babanna, New Bussa axis in Borgu Local Government Area, Tungankawo, Tunganwawa axis in Kontagora Local Government Area, Mokwa, Kudu, Kpaki axis in Mokwa Local Government Area and Bagama, Dikko junction axis in Suleja Local Government of Niger State.
“The seizures are estimated at over Forty million (40m) naira which represents a huge loss on the part of these elements despite the fact of a jail term that awaits any of them who will be arrested as a result of our long drawn investigative net.
“We shall continue to blaze the trail in anti-smuggling activities through the deployment of intelligence gathering and collaboration/synergy with other critical stakeholders for the actualization of our statutory mandate.
“These deliberate and concerted efforts will guide us in contributing our quota toward realizing remarkable results in line with the Vision and Mission of the Comptroller General of Customs and His Management Team”.