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Smuggling: Customs Threatens To Invade Residential, Market Stalls

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Ogun state command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has threatened to invade residential houses, stalls, as well as warehouses suspected to be housing smuggled rice across the state.

The Customs Area Controller (CAC) in the state, Comptroller Michael Agbara made the threat while briefing journalists yesterday in Idiroko border over activities of his command at suppressing smuggling, generating revenue for government and facilitate trading within the past one month.

Agbara said the decision to invade suspected residential and warehouses where the smuggled rice are kept became necessary in order, “to key into the federal government’s policy on agricultural development in the area of boosting local rice production”.

The CAC in Ogun Command explained that curtailing activities of the economic saboteurs by all means possible, which included private residential areas and warehouses within towns have the backing of the most law, particularly the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA).

“I assure you, the battle line has been drawn and we will continue to do our best. The officers are ready to go and seize any rice we found anywhere. Whether you put it in your house, Customs & Excise Management Act (CEMA) allows us to go there.

If you put it in your warehouses, we are allowed by the law to storm there and raid it. On the road, on the footpaths, both on the unapproved roads, we are there. So, what I will advise them to do is to desist from smuggling and obey the law”. 

Harping on the volume of seizures made by his command, Agbara said a total of 6, 194 bags of rice being smuggled into the country were intercepted, with 395 kegs of vegetable oil weighing 25 litres each only in the month of August 2018.

Others according to the Customs’ boss included 7-bales of secondhand clothing; 340 kegs of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly known as petroleum weighing 25-litres each; 45 cartons of frozen poultry products as well as imported juice all with a Duty Payable Value (DPV) of over N382 million.

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