Customs seize 633 bags of rice in Edo

Officers and men of the Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘C’ Owerri, Imo State, have seized a truck carrying over 633 bags of 50kg smuggled foreign rice with total Duty Paid Value of N22,077,520.

Briefing journalists at the Customs Warehouse, Aduwawa, Benin City, Edo State on Saturday, the Controller in-charge of the unit, Mr Kayode Olusemire, stated that the bags of rice were hidden behind cartons of Lucozade Boost and Ribena juice to deceive the Customs operatives.

Olusemire said the truck and the illegal consignment were intercepted in Benin, the Edo State capital.

The Customs Area Controller noted that foreign rice was banned from coming into the country by the Federal Government in order to pave the way for the local rice milling industries to thrive.

He stated, “There is huge sum of money paid by smugglers to foreign rice milling factories, which when channelled towards the patronage of local industries, will create job opportunities and enhance the national economy.

“It is disheartening that many Nigerians patronise foreign rice far more than they buy our local rice, which is far better than the foreign one.”

Olusemire warned smugglers to desist from the illicit venture, adding that they would have themselves to blame if the bags of foreign rice smuggled into the country by them were seized.

The customs boss added that the seized bags of rice would be taken to Internally Displaced Persons’ camps for consumption by vulnerable members of the society.

Olusemire also commended the giant strides recorded by the Customs intelligence Department, stating that if not for the expertise of its officers and men, most of the seizure would not have been made.
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