COVID-19 Lockdown: Customs Seized 224 Bags of Foreign Rice In Ilorin

Oyewale Oyelola

The Joint Border Operations (JBOD) Sector 3 on Thursday seized 224 bags of parboiled foreign rice from smugglers in Ilorin, Kwara State Capital.

The Sector covering North Central States (Niger/Kwara/Kogi and Benue States) under leadership of Compt. Mohammed Uba Garba disclosed that some die hard smugglers defy Presidential order and continue to carry out their nefarious activities amidst COVID-19 pandemic.

”Early hours of Thursday, the roving team also stormed ITA-MERIN Area of Ilorin West Local Government of Kwara State while smugglers where in the process of offloading the smuggled Rice into a residential quarters. The area was immediately Condon and the Rice were evacuated to Customs house Ilorin, after the examination, a total of 224 Bags of Rice was discovered.”

A statement made available to journalists said: ”Few days into the lockdown order amidst Covid-19 pandemic, the joint border operations drill Sector 3 have intensified anti-smuggling Operations in the zone with a view to curtail activities of economic saboteurs.”

The statement read:

In compliance with order by Mr. President on the total blockage of our land borders, the Joint Border Operations (JBOD) has continued to make the Zone unfavorable for the Smugglers which had led to 44 Seizures from March, 2020 till date.

The Customs and excise Management act (CEMA) Section- 147 gives power to Customs officers to search and raid any premises suspected to house with smuggled goods. The Headquarters Roving team comprising of Nigeria Customs Officers, Nigeria Army, Nigeria Immigration Service, DSS, Nigeria Police and other security agencies involve in this National assignment were recently drafted to a warehouse at Abayawo Area of Ilorin West Local Government of Kwara State suspected to stock pile with foreign par boiled Rice. The store was raided and a total of 450 Bags of foreign Parboiled Rice of 50kg each was discovered to be smuggled in to the State, stored in residential apartment. The Rice was immediately evacuated to Customs warehouse Ilorin. We are still trailing those involved in the criminal act and will soon be fish out for prosecution.

The breakdown of the seized goods within the period under review include the following-

1,657 Bags of foreign par boiled 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 twenty Two (22) Trailers of Rice with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of 451, 685. 900
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 different brand of Beers
26 Units of Vehicles
8 Motor Cycles

This has brought the total seizure of the Sector from August 2019 to Ninety Six (96) with duty paid value (DPV) 1, 041, 082, 880. 00 with 45 suspects

The Coordinator therefore appealef 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 perpetrate 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 policy of the present administration on suppression of smuggling activities, blockage of revenue leakages and maximum revenue generation without compromising national interest and security of the country is strictly adhered to.

The complete closure of our land borders as directed by Mr. President is fully in force as no stone is left unturned. Our effort in implementing such orders had led to repatriation of several illegal immigrants

To this end, the Coordinator assured that the Officers and Men of Joint Border Operations (JBOD) Sector 3 will not relent in their efforts to reduce smuggling to the barest minimum.


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