The Strike Force Unit of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has seized 11 truck load of smuggled foreign parboiled rice in the South West.
The Strike Force is an ad-hoc unit set-up by the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service to complement the activities of the border commands and the Federal Operations Unit to suppress smuggling in the country.
The special unit had in the last three months intercepted contraband smuggled into the country through neighboring countries worth over several billions of naira.
However, in the recent seizure, the service also intercepted other contraband goods worth over N415 million.
In a statement by the Public Relations Officer of the FOU, Zone A, Mr Jerry Attah, other seizures were identified as vegetable oil, second hand cloths, cartons of frozen poultry products, unprocessed firewood, sugar and vehicles of different brands being smuggled into the country through the land borders.
Speaking to newsmen on the sidelines of the arrest, the National Coordinator of the Strike Force, Abdullahi Kirawa disclosed that the seizures were made by the CGC Strike Force team from August 11 to September 18, 2018.
He also disclosed that the seizures were based on credible intelligence gathered by the Customs Intelligent Unit (CIU).
He warned that rice that are being smuggled into the country are less nutritious compare to our locally produced rice. He urged Nigerians to patronised locally made products.
He added that NCS and its men are also not relenting especially in the months of ember. Saying the Service is working around the clock to ensure that illicit trade does not thrive in the country.
In order to tackle smuggling activities around the borders, he said NCS formed synergy with its other sister agencies such as Nigerian Army, Navy and the rest to track all these nefarious activities that are being perpetrated by smugglers.
He added: “This we do not only with our sister agencies but with host communities at the borders. The PR unit of the service has also engage in vigorous campaign in public sensitisation as the dangers of smuggling.
“So we are not only ensuring that we make arrest but we are also being proactive in ensuring that in the first place the dangers of smuggling is made known to the general public so that they will also avail us as good Samaritans and citizen with information to track this things down,” he added.