The Comptroller General of Customs Strike Force, says it has impounded 3,000 bags of foreign rice smuggled into the country through the land border from Benin Republic.
This is coming barely a week after the Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbe hinted about the planned closure of the land borders due to massive smuggling of rice into the country.
Speaking to journalists at the weekend in Lagos, zonal commander of the strike force in charge of Zone A, Assistant Controller Salisu Assababullah, said the smuggled rice, which has a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N42 million, was concealed inside containers and trucks belonging to some corporate organisations.
According to him, the strike force was able to make the seizure through intelligence it gathered on the new method employed by smugglers to bring the commodity into the country.
He said, “The CGC task force intercepted 3000 bags of 50kg rice smuggled into the country. They were intercepted along Ijebu Ode expressway with two suspects in custody.
“We were able to get intelligence report that container laden trucks were taken to the border area, load it with smuggled rice and put seal as if they were containers released from seaports.”
He attributed the success recorded to the support by other members of the team even as he acknowledged the Federal Government approval of brand new patrol vehicles for anti-smuggling operations.
Assababullah said his team got nine vehicles from the 68 approved by government for anti-smuggling operations.