• Wed. Jun 12th, 2024

Customs FOU ‘A’ Enhances Food Security By Intercepting Smuggled 880 Bags of Beans, 584 Bags of Onions, Others

In a proactive move, the vigilant operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service, led by Comptroller Kehinde Ejibunu, intercepted three export-bound trucks on the Ajilete/Idiroko road in Ogun State. The trucks were destined for the Republic of Benin and were loaded with 880 bags of white beans, 584 bags of onions, and 18 bags of dry pepper.

Comptroller Ejibunu, in a press briefing held in Lagos on Friday, disclosed that rather than seizing the food items, the Customs Unit redirected the trucks to Nigerian markets. The confiscated goods were subsequently sold to Nigerians by their owners. This strategic decision ensures that the seized items benefit the local market, contributing to food availability and affordability for Nigerians.

Expressing further concerns, Comptroller Ejibunu highlighted the evolving tactics of smugglers, notably their attempt to transport foreign parboiled rice in petroleum jerrycans. The Customs Unit discovered and intercepted such attempts along the Ajilete road in Ogun State. The comptroller emphasized the illegality of such acts and the associated risks, as contaminated grains could pose serious health hazards to consumers.

Providing a comprehensive overview of the Customs Unit’s activities in February 2024, Comptroller Ejibunu reported a total of 93 seizures and the arrest of 9 suspects. The seized items, with a total duty paid value of N751,127,025, included 3,779 bags of suspected foreign rice equivalent to over 7 trailer loads valued at over N365 million.

Additionally, the Customs Unit successfully thwarted the smuggling of eleven exotic used vehicles valued at over N200 million into the country. The strong resistance against duty evasion and deviant behavior by the Customs officials resulted in the recovery of N78,164,255.20 as revenue into the federation account through the issuance of demand notices on underpaid Customs duties.

The diverse range of items seized during the month included one locally made gun and six pieces of empty cartridges, 731 parcels of Indian hemp weighing 482kg, 1 X 40ft container containing 286 cartons of new rubber slippers, 7 units of used motorcycles, 28,000 liters of premium motor spirit (PMS), and 2,420 pieces of used tires.

Comptroller Ejibunu reiterated the commitment of the Nigeria Customs Service to safeguarding the nation’s borders, preventing illicit activities, and ensuring compliance with customs regulations. The successful operations in February reflect the agency’s dedication to maintaining the integrity of Nigeria’s trade and revenue systems.

Hyacinth Beluchukwu Nwafor

Hyacinth Beluchukwu Nwafor is a seasoned journalist and the CEO/Founder Belch Digital Communications, publishers of Hybrid News Nigeria.

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