Joint Border Operations Drill Sector 3, of the North Central zone, says it has seized rice worth 22 loads of trailers since August 2019 when it began the operation to date.
In a statement by the head of the operations, Comptroller Mohammed Uba Garba, the operations have also arrested 45 persons for various anti-smuggling related offenses within the said period.
Garba, who said that the headquarters’ roving team comprising of Nigeria Customs Officers, Nigeria Army, Nigeria Immigration Service, DSS, Nigeria Police and other security agencies involved in this national assignment were drafted to a warehouse at Abayawo Area of Ilorin West Local Government of Kwara state suspected to stockpile with foreign parboiled rice during the week, added that the operation was in line with the Customs and excise Management Act (CEMA) Section 147 which gives power to Customs officers to search and raid any premises suspected to house smuggled goods.
“The rice was immediately evacuated to Customs warehouse Ilorin, while the culprits are still at large. Every effort is ongoing to arrest them.
“Also at earlier hours of Thursday, the roving team stormed Ita-Merin Area of Ilorin West Local Government, where suspected smugglers were in the process of offloading the smuggled rice into a residential quarter.
“The area was immediately cordoned and the bags of rice were evacuated to Customs house Ilorin. After the examination, a total of 224 Bags of rice was discovered.
The joint operations said that the breakdown of the seized goods within the period under review included 1,657 Bags of foreign parboiled rice which brought the total number of seized bags of rice from August last year to 14,813 bags of 50Kg each which is equivalent to 22 trailers of rice with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N451.685.900
“Other seized items were 282 kegs of vegetable oil, 898 drums of AGO, 1355 jerry cans of petroleum product, 348 bundles of textile materials, 28 bags of foreign fertilizer, 66 cartons of a different brand of beers, 26 units of vehicles and 8 motorcycles.
“This has brought the total seizure of the Sector from August 2019 to 96 with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N1,041,082,880. 00 with 45 arrested suspects.
Meanwhile, the Sector has reiterated its stand that there is no retreat on the fight against smuggling in whatever disguise.
The Coordinator, therefore, appeals to the general public to embrace legitimate means of livelihood and to avoid smuggling in all its ramifications. “The Sector is combatant ready to halt all the activities of economic saboteurs who want to perpetuate their illicit acts”.
“The Coordinator Joint Border Operations Drill Sector 3 Compt. Mohammed Uba Garba declared that we shall ensure that the maximum revenue collection is made through the appropriate channel of the service as directed by the Comptroller of Customs Service, Col Hammed Ali (rtd).
“We at the sector 3 are committed and determined not to fail in actualizing the goals of the Service that is to stem the activities of smugglers,” the release said.