Customs probe 440 seized rifles, impound ‘contaminated’ rice

Olufemi Atoyebi and

Anna Okon

The Nigeria Customs Service, Tin Can Island Command, has transferred the recently intercepted  440 riffles and the suspect that was arrested in connection with the arms to the NCS, Federal Operations Unit, Zone A’ Ikeja,  for further investigation.

This, according to the Public Relations Officer of the command, Uche Ejesieme, followed a directive from the Comptroller General of the NCS, Col. Hameed Ali, (retd.), to that effect.

The NCS, Tin Can Island Command had, on Tuesday, intercepted a container laden with 440 arms and ammunition of various sizes and designs.

Speaking during the seizure, the zonal commander, Tin Can Island Command, Monday Abue, who represented the Comptroller General, said that the cargo was shipped from Turkey.

He said that the consignment was declared as Plaster of Paris by the importer.

He explained that the container with registration number PONU 210024/1 was picked up based on intelligence report.

Meanwhile, the Oyo/Osun Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service on Wednesday said a truck and two buses loaded with ‘contaminated’ rice were impounded along the Iseyin-Oyo Road.

The Area Controller of the command, Udo-Aka Emmanuel, who showed journalists the seized goods at the command’s area office in Ibadan, said that 853 bags of rice were found in the three vehicles.

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He added that apart from the rice, 395 (25-litre) kegs of imported vegetable oil were also seized from smugglers at different locations.

He said, “These seized bags of rice have been stored in warehouses at the Republic of Benin without proper pest control, making them prone to different elements. We should also understand that most of these smuggled products have exceeded their shelf lives and have, therefore, expired and are not safe for consumption. Yet, they are re-bagged and relabelled and dumped in our country.

“The smugglers took advantage of the recent mass deployment of officers and men in the Nigeria Customs Service to indulge in their unwholesome activities with the belief that we will be caught off guard.

The duty value on the rice is N14.6m while that of the vegetable oil is more than N3m.”

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