Home Business Customs Seizes Tons Of Rice, 373,440 Litres of Smuggled Petrol Headed For Benin Republic
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Customs Seizes Tons Of Rice, 373,440 Litres of Smuggled Petrol Headed For Benin Republic

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The Seme Border Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has intercepted 373,440 litres of petrol headed for Benin Republic and 6,467 bags of foreign rice smuggled into Lagos. The seizure, valued at N840 million, was announced by the Customs Area Controller, Timi Bomodi, during a press conference detailing the command’s activities from January to May 26, 2024.

The intercepted petrol, equivalent to eight tanker loads, was on the verge of being smuggled to Benin Republic. Additionally, the command seized used vehicles, parcels of cannabis sativa, wild animals, general merchandise, and used tyres.

“Our enforcement unit sustained its anti-smuggling momentum, resulting in the interception of various contraband items,” Bomodi stated.

Bomodi highlighted a surge in the illegal importation of cannabis from Ghana, with criminals employing various methods to evade capture, all of which were thwarted by customs officers.

Other seizures included “6,467 bags of 50kg foreign parboiled rice equivalent to 10 trailer load and 15 used vehicles; 1,251parcels of cannabis sativa; 20 live parrots; two honey badgers; two Pelican birds; 404 live tortoises; 3,023 items under general merchandise; 149 packages of codeine and 45 pieces of used tyres—all with a combined Duty Paid Value (DPV) N840million.

The command’s revenue generation for the period increased by 272% compared to the same period in 2023, amounting to N2.63 billion. Additionally, the command facilitated the export of 143,468 metric tonnes of produce worth N35.19 billion ($38.46 million).

Eighteen suspects were arrested in connection with the seizures, with varying outcomes: some were granted bail, others handed over to the NDLEA and the Nigeria Police, and a few remained in custody. A notorious smuggler whose activities had caused significant disruption was also apprehended.

While Bomodi emphasised the command’s commitment to maintaining the integrity and safety of border operations, the integrity of the Nigeria Customs is questionable. Weeks earlier, investigative journalist Fisayo Soyombo unravelled a web of illegalities within Nigerian Customs, shedding light on criminal activities involving critical players like IBD Dende and others in smuggling.

Despite presenting evidence, government agencies and the Nigerian Customs Service have responded with resounding silence.

Read; Nigerian Army Corporal Arrested For Stealing Ammunition In Borno

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