NCS seizes 224 bags of smuggled rice in Ilorin

File: Bags of imported rice

The Joint Border Operations Department (JBOD) of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Sector 3 has seized not less than 224 bags of parboiled foreign rice from smugglers in Ilorin, the Kwara State Capital.

The sector made this known Thursday in a statement issued by the  Public Remations Officer, Kwara Command, Chado Zakari. He revealed that the seizure was carried out by the sector covering North Central States (Niger/Kwara/Kogi and Benue States) under leadership of Compt. Mohammed Uba Garba.

The statement  hinted that some die hard smugglers defied Presidential order and continue to carry out their nefarious activities amidst COVID-19 pandemic, hence the need to face the wrath of the law becomes necessary.

”Early hours of Thursday, the roving team also stormed ITA-MERIN Area of Ilorin West Local Government of Kwara State while smugglers were in the process of offloading the smuggled Rice into a residential quarters. The area was immediately Condon and the Rice were evacuated to Customs house Ilorin, after the examination, a total of 224 Bags of Rice was discovered.”

”Few days into the lockdown order amidst Covid-19 pandemic, the joint border operations drill Sector 3 have intensified anti-smuggling Operations in the zone with a view to curtail activities of economic saboteurs” the statement added.

Garba  pledged that the Joint Border Operations (JBOD) would continue to make the Zone unfavorable for the Smugglers which he said had led to 44 Seizures from March, 2020 till date.

“The Customs and excise Management act (CEMA) Section- 147 gives power to Customs officers to search and raid any premises suspected to house with smuggled goods. The Headquarters Roving team comprising of Nigeria Customs Officers, Nigeria Army, Nigeria Immigration Service, DSS, Nigeria Police and other security agencies involve in this National assignment were recently drafted to a warehouse at Abayawo Area of Ilorin West Local Government of Kwara State suspected to stock pile with foreign par boiled Rice. The store was raided and a total of 450 Bags of foreign Parboiled Rice of 50kg each was discovered to be smuggled in to the State, stored in residential apartment.

He explained that the rice was immediately evacuated to Customs warehouse Ilorin, adding that the command was still trailing those involved in the criminal act, saying that they will soon be fished out for prosecution.

According to the statement, the breakdown of the seized goods within the period under review include 1,657 Bags of foreign par boiled Rice which brought the Total number of seized Bags of rice from August last year to 14,813 Bags of 50Kg each which is equivalent to twenty Two (22) Trailers of Rice with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of 451, 685. 900

Others are 282 Kegs of Vegetable oil, 898 Drums of AGO, 1355 Jerry Cans of Petroleum Product, 348 Bundles of Textile Materials, 28 Bags of foreign fertilizer, 66 Cartons of different brand of Beers, 26 Units of Vehicles, and 8 Motor Cycles.

This, the statement said,  has brought the total seizure of the Sector from August 2019 to Ninety Six (96) with duty paid value (DPV) 1, 041, 082, 880. 00 with 45 suspects.

The Coordinator therefore appealed to the general public to embrace legitimate means of livelihood and to avoid smuggling in all its ramifications, warning that the Sector was combatant ready to halt all the activities of economic saboteurs who want to perpetrate their illicit acts.