The Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted foreign parboiled rice smuggled into the country through the fuel tanks of motorcycles (also known as Okada).
Controller of the unit, Muhammed Aliyu, who briefed journalists on the seizure in Lagos on Wednesday, said his officials intercepted the motorcycles at a forest in Ogun Sate, with each of the tanks containing half bag of rice.
According to him, a makeshift tank was created to fuel the motorcycle while the foreign rice was concealed in the original fuel tank.
He said, “Motorcycle tanks is what they are using to smuggle rice, they create another space where they can fuel the bike. Who will believe smugglers can go to this length to use the tank as bunker to smuggle rice?
“This is a new method of smuggling rice. This is the few we can show you but by the time we bring the remaining bikes from the bush, you will all be amazed. One tank contains half bag of rice so two tanks is one bag of rice. So, 50 tanks will produce 25 bags of rice. That is the level smugglers can go to smuggle rice into the country,” he said.
Aliyu said the unit also intercepted 5,717 jerry cans of vegetable oil smuggled into the country. The vegetable oil, he said, was intercepted at a warehouse in Lagos.
He added that the unit has so far seized contraband worth N315 million from August to October 20, 2019 while N104.4 million revenue was collected between August and September 2019.