The Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit, Zone “C” Owerri, Imo state, have intercepted, arrested and seized an IVECO truck carrying over 633 bags of 50kg parboiled foreign rice with total Duty Paid Value of N22,077,520.
Briefing journalists at Customs Warehouse, Aduwawa, Benin city, Edo state, the Comptroller in-charge of the unit, Mr. Kayode Olusemire, stated that the bags of rice were carefully concealed with cartons of Lucozade Boost and Ribena juice to deceive the customs operatives of the unit.
He further said that the truck and the illegal consignment were intercepted along Benin-axis by the Benin mobile patrol team.
The Customs Area Controller, however, noted that foreign rice was banned by the Federal Government to pave way for the local rice milling industries to thrive.
“There is a huge sum of money paid by smugglers to foreign rice milling factories, which when channeled towards the patronage of local industries, will create job opportunities and enhance nation’s economy. It is disheartening that many Nigerians patronise foreign rice far more than they buy our local rice, which is far better than the foreign ones”
He warned smugglers to desist from the illicit business venture, adding that they would have themselves to blame, if bags of foreign rice smuggled into the country by them were seized.
The customs boss added that the seized bags of rice would be taken to Internally Displaced Persons camps for the vulnerable members of the society to benefit from.
Meanwhile, Olusemire had commanded the giant strides recorded by the Customs intelligence department, stating that if not for their expertise most of the seizures would not have been made.