The Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, has impounded rice worth N1.3billion and arrested 23 suspects in two months, the Service announced at the weekend.
The arrest and the seizure were made by the Comptroller-General (CGC) compliance team operating across the country. Its Assistant-Comptroller Musa Jalo said the suspects were apprehended in various operations by the team.
According to him, the confiscated items included 23, 237 bags of rice, 2, 715 jerry cans of vegetable oil, 2. 070 cartons of sphagetti, 5, 676 cartons of frozen poultry products. Others are 1, 055 bales of second hand clothes, 4, 491 used tyres, 319 cartons of mosquito coil and 237 used vehicles.
Jalo said the seized items included rice, vegetable oil, sphaghetti, poultry products, used tyres, used vehicles, second hand clothes and mosquito coil.
“Two months down the line, our aggressive patrols of creeks, highways and suspected routes used by criminals and smugglers, and strong deployment of intelligence have continued to justify the creation of the team.
“Within the period under review, we have been able to make a total of 591 assorted seizures across the country, with Duty Paid Value of N1.3billion.
“It is important to point out that, this is what would have been lost had this team not been created by the CGC because our operation focus on areas of leakages,” he said.
He said rice was the most smuggled item across the country, assuring that the service would continue to collaborate with patriotic Nigerians on the effect of smuggling on the economy. He advised smugglers to find legitimate businesses or spend the rest of their lives in jail.