Businessman Arrested For Smuggling Rice As Dead Bodies

The ban on rice importation and biting economic conditions are forcing some Nigerians to freight any and everything possible, including bags of rice as coffins carried in ambulances.

This unprecedented antic of moving rice in an ambulance under the guise of corpses from Benin Republic into Nigeria was uncovered yesterday at the Seme Border by the operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) who promptly arrested the vendor.

Customs officials at the Seme Border said the suspected smuggler, Moses Degbogbahun, arranged 11 50kg bags of rice in place of a corpse in his Volvo ambulance with number DV 74EKY.

Luck, however, ran out on him when he was subjected to a rigorous search by an officer who had observed him move “corpses” across the border regularly without being searched.

His frequent movement across the border made the officers at Aradagun area of Badagry to suspect foul play prompting them to insist on seeing the “corpse”. But they were, however, amazed to see that they had allowed so many “corpses” of rice to pass through the border. Lol!

The Customs mobile patrol team leader stated that the frequency of the said ambulance patronising the international route with the “dead bodies” had become alarming making it necessary to ascertain the identity of the dead. The officers wondered how come people were "dying" frequently.

According to The Sun, rice smuggling across Seme became lucrative to warrant such antic when the Federal Government banned rice importation into the country in its attempt to boost local capacity.