Nigerian Customs Seizes 400 bags of Rice ...Promises Tough Times for Smugglers.



Sandra Ukele

The Nigerian Customs Western Marine Command has intercepted several bags of foreign parboiled rice, bales of clothing and cartons of poultry in the Ilufe and Ijofin axis of Lagos and Ogun states.
The seizures were made at two different places using sophisticated information-sharing modes by members of the joint patrol team of the Command.
Prior to the siezure the patrol team had gathered intelligence report from formidable sources and laid ambush for the perpetrators.
According to the Customs Area Comptroller of the Command Compt. Sarkin Kebbi who led a delegation of sister agencies comprising National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), the Nigerian Police Force and the State Security Service (SSS) he said:
"We had information two days prior to their (smugglers) reaching the coast that they were on their way. We laid ambush for them. We allowed them to offlaod after the process we pounced on them but they dived into the water and fled.
"We used our vehicles to evacuate the goods and this is what we have here today 138 bales of second hand clothing (Okrika) valued at N7.33million naira duties inclusive.
"I dont have any other job here other than to arrest and stop smuugling in the nation. We have to do it to help the economy, we have to create more jobs and help farmers get back to the farms.
"These (second hand clothing) are not good for our health. They have been bound. They are under absolute prohibition list not even import prohibition list. It is viewed just like arms and ammunition.
"When I first held a press conference with you I told I was not going to stop that I must continue to fight smuggling and smugglers," he emphasized.
When asked about the recession crises and the suffering citizens are put under to make them consider smuggling only to lose their wares the CAC  had this to say:
"Well to him (smuggler) it is not a waste of money. He has been doing it and succeeding and making a lot of money in times past so he would not be at a loss. However, his money is wasted now and it will continue to waste, and we will continue to pick them out of the creeks," he said
Speaking on the need to acquire more equipment to enhance apprehension of smugglers Compt. Kebbi iterated:
"We need more equipment to cover more area so that we do our jobs better. We have been doing our very best but be that as it may we are going to employ more intelligence sharing methods. You know now everything is now about intelligence driven approach. This is why we have been succeeeding because we have been using intelligence to gather information to fight smuggling. We are working with a lot iof sister agencies to gather information so that we would be able curb smuggling.
Meanwhile, the bags of rice which were apprehended at Ijofin creek along Nigeria/ Benin border axis consists of 400 bags of 50 kilogramme parboiled foreign rice estimated at a value of about N5million naira including duty paid value.

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