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Customs intercepts 140 foreign rice bags hidden in sand truck

NEWSMAN, Ilorin – A truck carrying 140 bags of 50 kilogrammes of imported foreign rice hidden in sharp sand has been intercepted by the anti-smuggling task force of the Nigeria Customs Service, code-named Joint Border Operations Sector 3.

Mohammed Garba, the coordinator of the sector, on Wednesday in Ilorin, said that the smuggled rice were worth N2,142,000. The task force covering the North-Central states of Niger, Kwara, Kogi and Benue states intercepted the truck marked, ZAR 803 XA, in Kontagora, Niger State, PUNCH reported.

He added that in the last 40 days, the operation generated a total Duty Paid Value of N1,207, 223, 380, while 53 suspects were arrested through tracing number plates and waybill.

 “I want you to send this message to the enemies of Nigeria economy that this sector has stepped up measures to combat the influx of smuggled foreign rice and other prohibited items in to the country”, Garba said.

The Coordinator said the patrol team comprising 800 personnel drawn Nigeria Customs Officers, Nigeria Army, Nigeria Immigration Service, DSS, Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies raided two warehouses at Abayawo and Ita-Merin areas, both in Ilorin West Local Government of Kwara State, suspected to stock pile with foreign parboiled Rice.

The two stores raided led to the discovery of a total of 450 and 224 Bags of foreign Parboiled Rice of 50kg each respectively discovered to be smuggled into the state.

Garba added that the quest to sustain the tempo of aiding the Federal Government Policy on Agricultural Development in the area of boosting local Rice production, prompted the Sector to redouble its efforts by recording a total of 17,490 Bags of foreign parboiled Rice.

Other Items seized were 310 Kegs of Vegetable oil, 1 Locally made Pistol with a live cartridge, 944 Drums of AGO, 3,676 Jerry Cans of Petroleum Product of 25 liters each and 355 Bundles of Textile Materials.

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