Smugglers Now Use Sand Tippers To Conceal Foreign Rice- Customs

Abiodun Oyedele

The Nigeria Customs Service has uncovered new plots by smugglers to distribute imported rice across the country, despite Presidential ban.

The Coordinator North Central Zone Joint Border Patrol (Niger, Kwara, Kogi and Benue states), Sector 3 Ilorin, Comptroller Garba Mohammed  narrated how economic saboteurs now concealed foreign rice in sand tippers, Keke Napep and tainted vehicles in order to escape customs check points.

According to him, One of the most exceptional seizures of interception of a Tipper with Reg. No. ZAR 803 XA. A carefully concealed 140 Bags of foreign Rice in Sharp Sand which you’ve all seen in the course of taking you round of the seized goods. It is disturbing that some die-hard smugglers have also resorted to using Keke Napep to smuggle rice.

Smugglers Now Use Sand Tippers To Conceal Foreign Rice- Customs
Comp Garba Mohammed while addressing newsmen in Ilorin on Wednesday

Comp Garba Mohammed while briefing newsmen on Wednesday at the Service Area command, Ilorin, said zone comprising 800 officers from different agencies generated  N1.2billion into federal government coffer between May and July this year.

Smugglers Now Use Sand Tippers To Conceal Foreign Rice- Customs
Seized Foreign Rice inside Keke Napep

He added that no fewer than 53 suspected smugglers were arrested through tracing number plates and waybill.

The Coordinator said the patrol team comprising 800 personnel drawn Nigeria Customs Officers, Nigeria Army, Nigeria Immigration Service, DSS, Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies.

The team raided two warehouses at Abayawo and Ita-Merin areas, both in Ilorin West Local Government of Kwara State, suspected to stock pile with foreign parboiled Rice. The two stores were raided and a total of 450 and 224 Bags of foreign Parboiled Rice of 50kg each respectively were discovered to be smuggled into the State.

He said the quest to sustain the tempo of aiding the Federal Government Policy on Agricultural Development in the area of boosting local Rice production, prompted the Sector to redoubled its efforts by recording a total of 225 seizures within the periods under review. This include-17,490 Bags of foreign parboiled Rice (equivalent to 29 trailers of 600) Bags each.

Items seized: 310 Kegs of Vegetable oil, 1 Locally made Pistol with a live cartridge, 944 Drums of AGO, 3,676 Jerry Cans of Petroleum Product of 25 liters each and 355 Bundles of Textile Materials.

Others are 28 Bags of foreign fertilizer, 66 Cartons of different brand of Beers, 67 Units of Vehicles, 78 Motor Cycles and one Keke Napep, 15 Sacks of Used Shoes and 360 tubers of yam

“It will be recalled that late last month, the Patrol team covering Babanna axis of the Sector in Niger State, intercepted two Mitsubishi Canter with Reg. No XA-241-WEL and XC-166-SUL respectively laden with 54 drums of smuggled petrol with a duty paid Value (DPV) 1.9 million with two suspects” he added.

Mohammed however hinted Customs does not have the authority to auction any seized goods, noting it only court that can give such orders.


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