Customs deepen probe on seized foreign rice, others

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The Federal Operations Unit, Zone A, the Nigeria Customs Service, has arrested 14 suspects in connection with seized 9,917 bags of 50kg foreign parboiled rice and other contrabands at various locations within the South-West states.

The Acting Customs Area Controller in charge of the command, Comptroller Hussein Ejibunu, who disclosed this recently while displaying  some of the seized contrabands to journalists, said that the arrests and seizures were made in May.

He also said that the seized items had a cumulative duty paid value of N818.124 billion.

Some of the items seized were:  9,917X 50kg bags of foreign parboiled rice equivalent to over 16 truck-loads; 812 bags of 5Kg and 120bags of 2kg basmati rice; 41,950 litres of Premium Motor Spirit; 4X20 Ft containers of unprocessed wood, among others.

The Customs’ boss blamed the high desire of Nigerians to consume foreign parboiled rice as the reason for the higher rate of smuggling of the product.

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“High desire by majority of Nigerians to consume foreign parboiled rice has a nexus with the number of smugglers scrambling to import the product in large quantities. Citizens are, once again, reminded of the need to support and key into the federal s policy aimed at supporting the growth of its local product,” he further said.

Ejibunu explained that during the period, officers of the unit were on high alert along the port and border corridors to ensure that the national economy was protected.

“During the preceding month, officers of this Unit were on high alert along the port and the border corridors to ensure that the national economy is protected from the activities of recalcitrant importers and traders. In the course of duty, various goods were intercepted for different Customs offences, ranging from accurate duty payment evasion.

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