Customs intercept over N4bn rice, cannabis, others

Customs intercept over N4bn rice, cannabis, others

Amidst biting fuel scarcity in some parts of the country, the Nigeria Customs Service has said that it intercepted 28,735 liters of smuggled Premium Motor Spirit on Lagos waterways.

Addressing journalists recently, the Customs Area Controller in charge of the Western Marine Command of the service, Comptroller Abubakar Umar, said that the PMS, which was an equivalent to a truck load of the product, was worth N5m.

He also said that command, in four months, seized other contrabands including, 29,660 parcels of cannabis, and 1575 bags of rice with a duty paid value of N2.2bn.

Giving a breakdown of the seizures, Umar said the seized cannabis sativa (marijuana) weighed 16,663kg and estimated to be worth N2.06bn, while the 1575 bags of foreign parboiled rice equivalent to more than two trailer loads of rice worth N39.375m were also intercepted.

Hence, the total worth of rice and cannabis seized was valued at N4.26bn.

According to him, “28,735 liters of PMS contained in 1,077 kegs of 25liter size was equivalent to a tanker-load valued at N4,921,700 and other seizures were 7 wooden boats with 4 engines as means of conveyance worth N13,750,000 and 2 sacks of suspected gun powder.

“Importation like this won’t help our country’s development. We all know the harms that cannabis sativa poses to our youths. It is illegal to ship such contraband into Nigeria and we will continue to thwart the efforts of unscrupulous importers who derive joy in bringing in such substance into the country.”

The WMC Customs boss, however, said that arresting suspects connected with waterways smuggling activities had been very difficult for the officers as the defaulters usually dived into waters.

“We don’t usually use our arms when apprehending these suspects or making seizures on the waterways because it’s usually at night and there are always fishermen.”

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