The Seme Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NSC) said it intercepted 47 trailers load of foreign parboiled rice smuggled into the country in 2019.
This is even as the Command arrested 47 suspects for various border crimes while four were convicted having pleaded guilty to the charges levelled against them by the Federal High Ikoyi in Lagos State.
However, within the same period under review, hard drugs and narcotics worth N37,874,400.00 were impounded by the officers of the Command.
In a press statement made available to our correspondent by the command’s Public Relations Officer, Husaini Abdulahi, the Customs Area Controller of Seme, Compt. Muhammed Uba said the seizures which are equivalent of 28,180 bags were worth N778m.
According to the statement, the Command made a total seizure of N1.6billion which includes vehicles, used clothing, textiles and vegetable oil.
The statement reads: “Compt. Uba mentioned that, within the period of 11 months reviewed, the Command’s anti-smuggling operations yielded a total of 1,302 seizures with the duty paid value (DPV) of N 1,6billion.”
“These seizures include the following: 28,180x50kg bags of foreign parboiled rice, equivalent to 47 trailers load with DPV plus levy of N778million, Sugar 140x50kg with DPV N588,000, 62 used vehicles and means of conveyance worth N220million.”
Others were 1,100 bales of used clothing and 101 sacks of used clothing worth N70million, 185 sacks of shoes, bags, belt, slippers both new and used worth N28billion, the statement said.
The statement indicated that the command also intercepted smuggled textile materials worth N11million and frozen poultry worth N49million.
About “1,539 bales of six yard, 30 bales of seven yards, 16 bales of 6 yards textile materials and wrappers worth N11million, 5,489 cartons of frozen poultry products worth N49 million, 397 kegs of 25 litres of vegetable oil, nine kegs of 10 litres and 37 kegs of five litres of vegetable oil worth N139 million and 2,109 kegs of 25 litres of premium motor spirit (PMS) worth N 8million,” were intercepted.
“General merchandise worth14, 955 items with DPV of N 234 million, hard drugs narcotics 1992 parcels DPV N38 billion,” were also seized the statement added.
However, the Comptroller attributed the harvest of seizures recorded during the period under review to the strategic policy measures put in place to tackle the menace of smuggling, irregular migrations and other trans-border crimes.
He further reiterated his commitment to ensuring that smuggling business becomes unattractive through vigorous community and public enlightenment, sensitization on the dangers of smuggling and its impact on economy and national security.
The Comptroller urged economic saboteurs to take the advantage of various Federal Government programmes on agriculture such as the Anchor Borrowers’ Scheme for rice farming, growth enhancement support scheme (GESS), government enterprises and empowerment programme (GEEP) and many others and key into for legitimate earning.
Similarly, the command collected the sum of N4.9 billion from January till date, representing 76 per cent of its annual allotted target of N 6.5billion the amount which is lower compared to N5billion recorded same period of 2018; the shortfalls it was learnt was as a result of border drill exercise that was initiated by Federal Government, which commenced on August 20 this year, placing temporary embargo on movement of goods through the land borders nationwide.