The Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted 163 bags of smuggled rice concealed with crates of beer in a truck belonging to Nigerian Breweries Plc. The seizure is among various contraband with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N2.55 billion intercepted by the unit between March 1 and March 19.
Controller of the Unit, Comptroller Muhammed Uba, while displaying some of the seized rice at the government warehouse in Ikeja, Lagos on Tuesday, told newsmen that the driver of the truck, which was intercepted at Ojodu, Berger escaped when he sighted the officers.
He said, “The driver used the crates of beer and concealed the rice, an item that is prohibited and not allowed to come into the country. I don’t think the company itself will engage in smuggling but the moment you employ an individual who does not see to the promotion of your organization, they may engage in some unwholesome practice like smuggling. You can see how economic saboteurs can be.
“My advice and warning to individuals and private organizations employing drivers and other workers using their mobility to convey their goods is that they should look at the credibility of such employees because they can dent the image of the company and slow down the process of making their gains.”
He said, “The intercepted goods are 7,201 bags of foreign parboiled rice; 1,172 cartons of frozen poultry products; 1,352 jerry cans of vegetable oil; 72 bales of used clothing and 46 pieces of used tyres.
“Also, 407 sacks of Pangolin scales and 629 pieces of textile Ankara material among others.
“Remarkably, among the seizures is the interception of 3,351 bags of rice and 669 jerry cans of vegetable oil intercepted along Iseyin, Oyo/Osun axis.
”The evacuation of 1,235 bags of rice from a warehouse in Ogbomosho based on credible intelligence despite resistance.”
Uba reiterated that the ban on the importation of foreign rice through the land border was to encourage efficiency in local production.
He said five suspects have been arrested in connection with all the seizures.
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