The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Strike Force has invaded some warehouses and markets in the South-West region to seize smuggled foreign rice and other contrabands brought into the country.
During the raid, findings revealed that 1,930 bags of 50kg smuggled rice were evacuated from some warehouses in Lagos and Ogun States.
The co-ordinator of the Strike Force, Ahmadu Bello Shuaibu, said the action was to support the policy of the Federal Government in boosting local production of rice and create jobs.
Shuaibu who lamented high rate of cargoes that are falsely declared as machineries at the ports in other to evade Customs duty and levy said the unit generated N708millon in the last two weeks.
It was gathered that 1,227 rolls of chiffon textiles materials, 18 pallets of perfumes, cosmetics and bags, 2,064 cartons of electric bulbs as well as 1,810 cartons of alcoholic and non-alcoholic wines were seized and would be forfeited to the federal government.
His words: “1,930 bags of 50kg of foreign parboiled rice in two weeks. This is to ensure that the country is rid of smuggled foreign parboiled rice as we have instructions of the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) that markets and warehouses of smugglers should be raided and smuggled rice evacuated.”
He stated further that based on the proactive measure by the unit, smugglers have found it difficult to move smuggled foreign rice from the border in large quality.
The smugglers, he said, are now using motorcycles also known as Okada “but we have restricted them and stopped their illegal operations,” he said.
Meanwhile, findings have also shown that the Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘C’ intercepted various contrabands with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N869, 550,345.00 last month.
The seized items include 1,024 cartons of unregistered pharmaceutical products, 1,046 bags of foreign parboiled rice of 50kg each, 290 cartons of imported Eva Soap, 62 jumbo bales of secondhand clothing, and one Toyota Corolla 2018 model.
Its Area Controller, Yusus Lawal said: “it will interest you to know that the 1,046 bags of Foreign parboiled rice were trailed and evacuated from an unnamed warehouse along Elelenwo Road Port Harcourt based on credible and timely intelligence, following lay down operational procedures, rules of engagement and ensued professionalism backed by section 147 and 151 of Customs and Excise Management Act Cap C45 LFN 2004.
“As you all know, it’s our responsibility to ensure full implementation of the Government Policy banning the importation of rice through land borders and following headquarters directive on same, we re-strategized our operational modalities and beam our searchlight at the Creek, Water side, and at various locations in south-south, South East zones and hence the reason for the massive rice seizure within the month under review,” Lawal said