BY: ABDUL MOHAMMED, Abuja.

The Niger/ Kogi Command of the Nigeria Customs through its new anti-smuggling strategies has made a remarkable exploits which led to the seizure of one DAF Diesel tanker (six tyres) with registration number RBC-05 ZS suspected to be concealing imported foreign rice which is yet to be examined; One DAF truck (ten tyres) with registration number MNA 893 XV loaded with Nine hundred and Fifty (950) 50kg bags of imported rice; Nine bales of used clothing (Second hand clothing) ; Four (4) Toyota Corolla conveying cumulatively a total of One hundred and Thirty-Five (135) 50kg imported bags of rice; Three hundred and Ninety-Seven (397) 50kg imported bags of rice hidden within the forest by smugglers; Two (2) Toyota Rav4 Four (4) Toyota Corolla; One (1) Peugeot 207 and One Mazda Premacy.

Speaking at a press conference in Minna, the Niger State capital Thursday, Customs Area Controller , Niger not/ Kogi Area Command, Yussuf Abba – Kassim said the seizures were made at different locations within the Command’s area of coverage all in the month of October 2019.

He said It is worrisome to note that some Nigerians remain unrepentant even as they continue to lose adding.that not even the Federal Government’s visible efforts in transforming the agricultural sector, especially in the area of rice production as well as the increase prevalence of expired imported rice with its hazardous health implications have touched their conscience to avoid rice smuggling.

“However our resolve to deal with them remains unshaken more so now that the present management has directed thorough investigation with the view to prosecuting all those that will be found connected to this illegal act and the on-going border drill operations. The arrest of a diesel tanker meant for convening diesel now used in concealing smuggled imported foreign rice should send a serious signal to these recalcitrant saboteurs of the Nigerian economy that there is no hiding place. We are determined to beat all their concealment patterns with our superior intelligence network”, Abba-Kassim said.

He also used the occasion to remind members of the public that the Kwara State axis of the Command has been given full autonomy since July 4th 2019 to be a Command separated from Niger/Kwara/Kogi saying the command will henceforth be called and addressed as Nigeria Customs Service Niger/Kogi Command.

He said the Command within the third quarter (July-September) of the year made a remarkable seizure of Three thousand, Five hundred and Twenty-Nine (3529) 50kg imported bags of rice with duty paid value of N62,159,700, Twenty-Nine (29) used vehicles with duty paid value of N32,333,500 and One thousand, Eighteen (1018) bales of Second-hand clothing with duty paid value of N48,912,000.

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