Foreign rice, goods worth N1.8bn seized in September—Customs

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The Federal Operations Unit (Zone A, Ikeja) of the Nigeria Customs Service said it intercepted eight trailer loads of imported rice and other contraband worth N1.76 billion in September.

This is according to the declaration of the acting Comptroller General of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi, at a news conference on Friday in Lagos.

Adeniyi said the seizures took place at various times and locations within the border corridors of the Southwest states.

He added that the unit generated N72.8 million in revenue through meticulous documentary checks and the issuance of demand notices on those that paid lesser amounts than the appropriate customs duty.

According to him: “Our dedicated officers executed a series of operations resulting in the interception and seizure of 7,029 50-kg bags of foreign parboiled rice.

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“The objective of this action is twofold: to discourage potential traders from engaging in smuggling activities and to inflict financial losses on active smugglers.”

The Customs boss noted that beyond the parboiled rice seizures, the unit’s operations yielded significant results in September with the interception of various goods.

Such goods, according to him, included 35,100 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), 1,100 litres of diesel and a 40-foot container carrying 360 bales of used clothes.

Others were one 40-foot container containing 150 cartons of ladies’ handbags, 50 bales of knickers, one 20-foot container of unprocessed wood and other falsely declared items.

“Also included are 106 cartons of foreign frozen poultry, 55 pieces of used fridges, 110 pieces of used compressors, 148 cartons of foreign soap, 121 cartons of expired hair oil and 25 units of [used] vehicles,” he added.

Investigations into some of these seizures are ongoing, he stated.

He also disclosed that 14 suspects had been apprehended in connection with various offences, such as violation of import/export guidelines, concealment, undervaluation, wrong classification, smuggling, and contravention of policy directives.

Adeniji urged importers and licenced agents to make sincere declarations and adhere to existing import and export guidelines to avoid the risk of losing their investments.

“Compliance is not only a legal obligation but also a strategic choice that ensures the smooth and efficient flow of goods across our borders,” he said.

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