By Kenneth Jukpor
Barely two weeks after showcasing seizures worth over N10billion, the Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted 1,393 bags of smuggled foreign parboiled rice, some of which were in gas cylinders, and other items with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N40.14 million.
Other seizures made by the Command included 187 jerrycans and 66 drums of foreign vegetable oil, as well as 625 cartons of poultry products – all brought in through illegal routes in Ogun State between February 5 and 17, 2020.
The rice, vegetable oil and poultry products were conveyed in 12 different motor vehicles and also concealed in gas cylinders with a cumulative duty paid value of Forty Million, One Hundred and Forty Four Thousand, Two Hundred and Fifty Naira Only (N40,144,250.00).
According to the Acting Controller, Comptroller Usman Yahaya, this shows the desperate act by dare devil smugglers concealing edible items in a gas cylinder further justifies the hard chase by operatives of Customs. (DPV Break down of the seized items: Rice N27,860o u it to me I,000.00, Veg. Oil N6,284,250.00 and frozen Poultry N6,000,000.00)
Worried by the continuous use of hazardous tools as means of conveyance of contraband foods, Ag. Comptroller Yahaya has warned economic saboteurs to stop their unscrupulous activities or continue to count losses.
The Area Controller also advised legitimate traders to adhere to honest declarations, assuring that the FOU was ever ready to facilitate trade in line with global best practices, according to a statement by the Command Public Relations Officer, Mr. Jerry Attah.
While thanking the Comptroller General of Customs Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) and the entire Management Team of the Service for providing necessary logistics and motivation that led to this feat, Ag. Comptroller Usman Yahaya 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.