Customs seize smuggled Rice, Vegetable Oil worth N17m

The anti-smuggling drive of the Oyo/Osun Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service got a boost in the last one week, as a total of 853 50-kilogramme bags of imported rice and 395 25-litre jerry cans of vegetable oil were intercepted and seized.
The duty paid value of the smuggled rice was put at N14.6 million while that of the vegetable oil was N3.1 million.

This was made known by the Customs Area Controller, Emmanuel Udo-Aka, on Wednesday, at the command’s headquarters in Ibadan, Oyo State.

Speaking further, Udo-Aka, who resumed at the area command barely a month ago, said that a DAF truck loaded with some of the smuggled bags of rice was intercepted along Ife-Ibadan highway on May 15.

“Also, on May 20, two Mazda buses conveying smuggled foreign rice were also impounded along Oko-Ifon Road, Osun State.

“Just this morning (Wednesday, May 24), another four Mazda buses carrying bags of smuggled rice as well as 25-litre jerry cans of vegetable oil were intercepted along Iseyin-Oyo Road by our patrol team. However, no suspect was arrested, as the drivers and conductors abandoned their vehicles and took to their heels,” the Area Comptroller added.

He said that the Customs officials employed restraint and avoided chasing the smugglers into the midst of innocent people to avoid casualties.

“The smugglers took advantage of the recent mass deployment of officers and men in the Customs to indulge in their unwholesome activities, with the belief that we will be caught off-guard, but we were still able to put some checks and balances.

“We will continue to reiterate our stand of zero tolerance for revenue leakage and reduction of smuggling to the barest minimum, particularly by bringing saboteurs to book to face the long arm of the law,” he assured.