Operatives of Ogun Area 1 Command of the Nigeria Customs and Excise (NCS) have intercepted several kegs of palm oil stuffed with foreign rice from suspected smugglers who disguised as farmers and pretended they were conveying palm oil from their farms to market.
Speaking with reporters at the Idiroko border headquarters of the Command, the Comptroller of the Command, Mr Michael Agbara said the seizure was carried out last week.
He said the command recorded revenue of N19, 598, 500 during the second quarter of 2020, while the total Duty Paid Value of the seizures is N500, 766, 215.
The seizure included; 11,841 bags of foreign parboiled rice (50 kg each); 130 units of vehicles including 2018 Model Black Mercedes Benz AMG G63, (bulletproof); 39 units of 11 bales and 40 pieces of second-hand clothing and 100 pairs of used shoes.
Other items seized are: 3, 204 cartons of frozen poultry products; 98,200 liters of petrol; 306 kegs of palm oil (25 liters each); 1,950 liters of diesel and 55 sacks of cannabis (indian hemp) and 143 bags (50 kilograms) and three cartons of sugar, among others.
He said: ‘’The command made 439 seizures comprising of the items our traditional revenue not feasible. However, we are able to generate some fees from the sales of petroleum products and other perishables that cannot be warehoused.”
Agbara added: ‘’ Look at how they disguised rice as palm oil stuffed in several kegs, yet they(smugglers) would be shouting that customs men are disturbing their farm business. If we don’t do our duties and some of these seizures entered into the society hardly would anyone be able to sleep well because of the criminal use these items can be used for.”
He appealed to hoodlums to desist from attacking customs carrying out their legitimate duties, noting that his men would defend themselves against unprovoked attacks.