…Comprising frozen poultry, vegetable oil and foreign rice tucked in gas cylinders!***
The rats and cat game between the smugglers and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) continued in the week, with the operatives of Federal Operation Unit (FOU), Zone ‘A’ inflicting heavy losses on illicit traders.
According to Zone ‘A’ FOU Ag. Controller, Usman Yahaya, not only are smugglers still daring, their latest adventure of smuggling foreign parboiled rice through gas cylinders, in spite of the health implications to ultimate consumers, was also nipped in the bud.
Consequently, between February 5 and 17th, 2020, the Unit intercepted 1,393 bags of smuggled foreign rice; 187 jerrycans/66 drums of foreign vegetable oil; 625 Cartons of poultry products and 50 jerrycans of foreign vegetable oil from unapproved routes within Ogun State, based on surveillance and routine patrol.
The rice, vegetable Oil and poultry products were conveyed in 12 different motor vehicles and also concealed in gas cylinders with a cumulative Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N40,144,250.
Ironically, this was coming just barely two weeks, after the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali’s working visit to Lagos where he showcased various seizures including pangolin scales, made by same Command, worth over N10 Billion Naira.
DC Yahaya warned that unless the economic saboteurs repent from their unscrupulous activities, they would continue to count their losses.
He also advised legitimate traders to be compliant in their declarations as the unit is ever ready to facilitate their trade in line with world best practices.
He equally called on all meaningful Nigerians to support the Service’s fight against smuggling activities by providing intelligence that could assist the unit achieve more monumental seizures.
Expatiating on the Acting Controller’s view, the Command’s Public Relations Officer, Jerry Attah called attention to the desperate act of the dare devil smugglers in concealing edible items in gas cylinders, as further justification for operatives hard stance on illicit traders.
He gave a DPV breakdown of the seized items, putting rice at N27,860,000; vegetable Oil N6,284,250; and frozen poultry N6,000,000.