The strike force Unit of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) yesterday seized 11 trucks load of smuggled foreign parboiled rice in the South West.
Recall that the strike force is an ad-hoc unit set-up by the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service to complement the activities of the border commands and the Federal Operations Unit to suppress smuggling in the country.
The special unit had in the last three months intercepted contraband smuggled into the country through neighboring countries worth over several billions of naira.
However, in the recent seizure, the service also intercepted other contrabands goods worth over N415million.
The other seizures ranges from vegetable oil, second hand clothes, cartons of frozen poultry products, unprocessed firewood, sugar to vehicles of different brands were smuggled into the country through the land borders.
Speaking to LEADERSHIP on the sidelines of the arrest, the National Coordinator of the Strike Force, Abdullahi Kirawa disclosed that the seizures were made by the CGC Strike Force team from August 11 to September 18, 2018.
He also disclosed that the seizures were based on credible intelligence gathered by the Customs Intelligent Unit (CIU).
Giving the breakdown of the seized items, he said, “The seized items are second hand clothing, 640 bales of shoes in 1×40 container worth N32,000,000; 18×20 and 3×40 containers of unprocessed firewood worth N144,000,000; 2×20 containers of wet blue worth N123,727,500, 59 bags of sugar x 50KG worth N590,000.”
He stated further that seven seized means of conveyance with four cars worth N6,000000, two trucks worth N6,000,000 and one M/Ben Bus worth N1,5000,000 were as well intercepted.
“Other items also seized were frozen poultry with quantity of 45 cartons value at N225,000; vegetable oil in 26 kegs by 10 litres value at N130,000 and 14 kegs by 25 litres value at N140,000.”
He stated further, “The used motor vehicles seized were Madza 323 car worth N750,000; Toyota Hilux N11,500,000; Toyota Avensis car worth N1,800,000; Lexus ES 350 value at N2,500,000; Toyota Venza worth N5,500,000 and Ford Transit Bus loaded with contraband goods value at N1,750,000 and 6,669 bags of rice 50kg worth N90, 000,000 were all seized.”
He warned that rice that are being smuggling into the country are less nutritious compare to our locally produced rice. He urged Nigerians to patronised locally made products.
He added that NCS and its men are also not relenting especially in the months of ember. Saying the Service is working around the clock to ensure that illicit trade does not thrive in the country.
In order to tackle smuggling activities around the borders, he said NCS formed synergy with its other sister agencies such as Nigerian Army, Navy and the rest to track all these nefarious activities that are being perpetrated by smugglers.
He added: “This we do not only with our sister agencies but with host communities at the borders. The PR unit of the service has also engage in vigorous campaign in public sensitisation as the dangers of smuggling.
“So we are not only ensuring that we make arrest but we are also being proactive in ensuring that in the first place the dangers of smuggling is made known to the general public so that they will also avail us as good Samaritans and citizen with information to track this things down,” he added.