customs

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Agency report

Most rice smuggled through Idiroko, Seme, Jibia and other border stations are expired.

The Customs Controller, Federal Operations Unit Ikeja, Comptroller Mamudu Haruna, who disclosed this in Lagos, said the public should be very careful in patronising the smuggled commodity.

The controller said those eating such smuggled rice are damaging their systems.

He also said some of the expired rice have been impounded by officers and men of the service and kept in the warehouses.

Importation of rice through the border stations was banned in April 2017.

And Haruna said smuggling of rice had become so rampant that youths risked their lives on motorcycles carrying five to six bags each.

He said other devices used included transporting between 35 to 50 bags in smaller trucks.

Haruna further said there was no way one could get a good rice consignment with the appropriate price from the smugglers, except the ones brought through the seaports.

“To this end, about six warehouses in Lagos that have contravened the laws are under customs seal and pending thorough investigation,’’ NAN quotes him as saying.

The controller said that one of the sealed warehouses contained 23,000 bags of rice and 44,000 empty bags for re-bagging.

He also showed a detained cement company’s vehicle, (name withheld) containing both cement and rice but for smuggling rice.

Haruna said between October and November, the unit intercepted various contraband with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N325.53million.

“In the guise of false declaration, transfer of value and shortchange in duty payment that are meant for the Federal Government.

“Making a cumulative of N611.67 million in the months of October and November 2016, ‘’ NAN quotes Haruna as saying.