Men and officers of the Niger/Kogi Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) have intercepted a tanker meant for petroleum products but was loaded with foreign rice smuggled into the country.
The diesel tanker with registration number RBC-05 ZS was intercepted at the Niger State end of the Abuja-Kaduna expressway at a point near Dikko junction.
Briefing newsmen on the development and other seizures recorded by the Area Command, the Customs Area Controller, Yusuf Abba-Kassim said the smugglers are devising desperate measures to frustrate the Federal Government’s efforts in checking the prevalence of expired imported rice with its hazardous health implications.
He said Customs is determined and will continue to beat the smugglers in their games through new strategies that have already been put in place, adding that the arrest of a diesel tanker should send a strong signal to the “recalcitrant saboteurs” of the Nigeria economy that there is no hiding place.
He said the command also intercepted a 10 tyres truck with registration number MNA 893 XV loaded with 950 50kg bags of imported rice and nine bales of used clothing as well as a Toyota Corolla conveying cumulatively, a total of 135 bags of imported rice.
Other seizures, according to him, made at different locations within the command’s area of coverage within the month of October include 397 bags of imported rice hid in a forest by smugglers; two Toyota Rav4; four Toyota Corolla; one Peugeot 207 and one Mazda Premacy car.
The Controller also explained that the command within July to September, made a remarkable seizure of 3,529 of 50kg bags of imported rice with duty paid value of N62,159,700; 29 used vehicles with duty paid value of N32,333,500 and 1018 bales of used clothing with duty paid value of N48, 912,000 respectively.