NCS draws attention to expired rice from border posts

The Nigerian Customs Service(NCS), on Tuesday, said that most rice  smuggled through Idiroko, Seme, Jibia and other border stations had  expired.

smuggled rice
The Customs Controller, Federal Operations Unit (F.O.U.) Ikeja,  Comptroller Mamudu Haruna, who disclosed this in Lagos, said the  public should be very careful in patronising the smuggled commodity.

The controller said that those eating such smuggled rice were damaging  their systems.

He said some of the expired rice had been impounded by officers and  men of the service and kept in the warehouses.

The importation of rice through the border stations was banned in April 2017.

Haruna said smuggling of rice had become so rampant that youths risked  their lives on motorcycles carrying five to six bags each.

He said that other devices used included transporting between 35 to 50  bags in smaller trucks.

Haruna said there was no way one could get a good rice consignment  with the appropriate price from the smugglers, except the ones brought  through the seaports.

The comptroller said, “ for plastic rice, I am yet to come across the  plastic rice.’’

To curb smuggling, he said that the service had intensified operations  at various bonded terminals and warehouses to ensure compliance with  the extant laws.

“To this end, about six warehouses in Lagos that have contravened the  laws are under customs seal and pending a thorough investigation,’’ He  was quoted as saying.

The controller said that one of the sealed warehouses contained 23,000  bags of rice and 44,000 empty bags for re-bagging.

He also showed a detained cement company’s vehicle, (name withheld)  containing both cement and rice but for smuggling rice.

Haruna said that between October and November, the unit intercepted  various contraband with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N325.53million.

He said the unit also recovered N286.62million from duty payments and  demand notices on vehicles and other general goods that tried to beat  the system from seaports, airports and border stations.

“In the guise of false declaration, transfer of value and shortchange  in duty payment that is meant for the Federal Government.

“Making a cumulative of N611.67 million in the months of October and  November 2016, ‘’ Haruna  said.

According to the controller, in the months under review, 210 different  seizures were recorded comprising vegetable oil, foreign parboiled  rice, frozen poultry products, smuggled vehicles, Indian hemp and  various general merchandise.

Haruna said that 77 suspects were apprehended, out of which 17  suspects had already been charged to court for prosecution and four  suspects had been convicted but on Appeal at the Appeal Court, Lagos.

He said that other suspects, mostly drivers, not culpable had been  released on bail.

The controller said that 1,300 parcels of Indian hemp with three  suspects had also been handed over to the National Drug Law and  Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Lagos State Command for prosecution to  serve as a deterrent to other drug barons.

Copyright Ships & Ports Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit given to as the source.