The Nigeria Customs Service, Oyo/Osun Area Command says some smugglers who came in to the country through an illegal route in Agbaja, off Igbeti area of Olorunsogo Local Government in Oyo State, have been arrested with 2000 bags of rice.
The Commander, Richard Oteri, said 40 cars were involved in the smuggling, adding that the bags of rice in the seizure were worth N20m.
He said, “The command’s combined anti-smuggling teams intercepted 40 vehicles that were loaded with smuggled imported rice after a week of effective surveillance and monitoring.
“In the face of the comptroller general of customs’ zero tolerance for rice smuggling through the borders, the service has continued to intensify efforts at border policing to keep the recalcitrant, unpatriotic Nigerians off this unwholesome business.
“The command has again recorded another significant breakthrough over these saboteurs who do not have the interest of our nation at heart.”
Oteri expressed worry over the unrepentant act of those people involved in smuggling activities despite repeated arrest of goods, vehicles and the criminals.
He lamented that smuggling of banned food was hampering the Federal Government’s efforts in transforming the agricultural sector, especially in the area of rice production.
“Our resolve to deal with this problem remains unshaken, more so that the present management has boosted our capacity by the re-training of our men.
“The dedication, patience and commitment of our men to duty have paid off several times. I also thank other security operatives in the state for their support in enhancing security and intelligence gathering in the command.”
Meanwhile the Ogun Area command of the Nigeria Customs Service said it generated N672 million in August as against N505million collected in the corresponding period of last year.
In a press statement issued by the command’s Public Relations Officer, Usman Abubakar and sent to SHIPS & PORTS DAILY, the amount which represents an increase of N166 million was the highest in the history of the command.
He said the command also made a total of 143 seizures with a Duty Paid Value of N144 miliion as against 93 seizures with DPV of N47 million recorded in the same period of 2013.
A breakdown of the seizures shows 5,531 bags of rice, 1,480 cartridges of live ammunition, 9 sacks of Indian hemp, 25 sacks of second hand clothing were impounded in the period under review.
Others are 67 vehicles, 1,258 cartons of frozen poultry products, 10 motorcycles and 125 kegs of premium motor spirit.