NCS Intercepts Foreign Rice Disguised as Local One
By John Iwori
A lorry load of foreign rice disguised as local one has been intercepted by the Comptroller General of Customs (CGC) Compliance Team.
The team comprising a crack team of officers and men of NCS was said to have discovered that it was the latest tactics of unrepentant smugglers of the commodity which remains a staple food in the country.
In order to evade the prying eyes of the security operatives, they disguised it as a local brand and neatly packed in sacks bearing the name of a local brand of rice called ‘Stallion Super Champion’.
The unscrupulous importers were said to have devised the means due to the ban placed on rice importation through land borders.
It was gathered that these smugglers often re-bag smuggled rice at the various nation’s entry points.
It was also learnt that most of the products have already found their way into the local markets in the country.
In the same vein, it was learnt that no fewer than three persons have been arrested in connection with the interception of the disguised rice.
Impeccable sources at NCS Headquarters, Abuja told THISDAY that the three suspects were presently telling the authorities what they knew about the seizure.
The source stated that other tactics being used by the smugglers were also being unraveled by the CGC Team.
Already, in the last two weeks no fewer than 5000 bags of rice were intercepted while frozen poultry products, vegetable oil, used tyres have been seized by the service.
This was attributed to the high sales associated with the Yuletide celebrations which many smugglers often take advantage of at the period.
The CGC Team headed by Assistant Comptroller Jalo said it had impounded bullet proof cars in the last four months.
It warned smugglers to steer clear of under-hand businesses, as operatives of the team would not spare any importer or smuggler, who ran foul of the existing law governing importation.
Several containers conveying furniture were also impounded in the Lagos axis headed by Chief Superintendent Bello.
It was gathered that no fewer than four containers of unprocessed timber and a 40-footer container of vegetable oil were also in its custody.
According to Bello, smuggling of these products was outright plot to evade duties. My zone is water-tight to contain such antics of economic saboteurs.
THISDAY had reported that Jalo assured that trade facilitation and increase in revenue would form the fulcrum of the team, just as he noted that importation must be guided by international best practices.
His words: “Importers who play according to the rules should have no fear as the team is on ground to stamp out products that are either prohibited or injurious to the health of the citizens as well as Nigeria’s economy”.
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