The Customs Area Controller of Niger/Kogi Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, Comptroller Yusuf Abbas-Kassim has disclosed that the command within the third quarter of 2019 made various seizures of three thousand, five hundred and twenty-nine 50kg imported bags of rice with duty paid value of N62,159,700, twenty-nine (29) used vehicles with duty paid value of N32,333,500 and one thousand, eighteen (1018) bales of second-hand clothing with duty paid value of N48,912,000.
Comptroller Yusuf added that the command in October recorded more seizures which included : one DAF diesel tanker (six tyres) with registration number RBC-05 ZS suspected to be concealing imported foreign rice which is yet to be examined; one DAF truck (ten tyres) with registration number MNA 893 XV loaded with Nine hundred and Fifty (950) 50kg bags of imported rice; nine bales of used clothing (Second hand) and four (4) Toyota Corolla conveying cumulatively a total of One hundred and Thirty-Five (135) 50kg imported bags of rice.
Others were three hundred and Ninety-Seven (397) 50kg imported bags of rice hidden within the forest by smugglers, two (2) Toyota Rav4, four (4) Toyota Corolla, one (1) Peugeot 207 and one (1) Mazda Premacy.
The CAC made this known while briefing the press on the activities of the command in Minna, Niger State, recently.
He noted that the seizures were made at different locations within the Command’s area of coverage all in the month of October 2019.
‘’It is worrisome to note that some Nigerians remain unrepentant even as they continue to lose. Not even the Federal Government’s visible efforts in transforming the agricultural sector, especially in the area of rice production as well as the increase prevalence of expired imported rice with its hazardous health implications have touched their conscience to avoid rice smuggling.
‘’However our resolve to deal with them remains unshaken more so now that the present management has directed thorough investigation with the view to prosecuting all those that will be found connected to this illegal act and the on-going border drill operations. The arrest of a diesel tanker meant for convening diesel now used in concealing smuggled imported foreign rice should send a serious signal to these recalcitrant saboteurs of the Nigerian economy that there is no hiding place. We are determined to beat all their concealment patterns with our superior intelligence network,’’ he said.
He informed that the Kwara State axis of the command had been given full autonomy since July 4th 2019 to be a command separated from Niger/Kwara/Kogi.