Rice is the most smuggled item across our borders —Customs

THE co-ordinator of the Comptroller General of Customs’ (CGC) Compliance Team, Assistant Comptroller Musa Jalo, has said rice is the most smuggled item across our borders.

Displaying some smuggled rice, expired tyres and second hand clothes seized by the task force in Kaduna, AC  Jalo remarked that the crack team was able to reduce the activities of smugglers across the borders since they were set up two months ago.

‘The Comptroller General of Customs, Col Hammed Ali, gave us the mandate to ensure that business of import and export in the country was done with strict compliance to the letters of the law.

“We have been able to make a total 591 seizures of contraband goods across the country whose  value stood at  N1.3 bn”, he said.

According to him, items that were seized include  23,237 bags of foreign rice  2,715 Jerry cans of vegetable oil, 2,070 cartoons of foreign spaghetti and 5,676 cartoons of frozen poultry products.

Other contraband items were 1,055 bales of second hand clothes, as well as 4,491 pieces of used tyres, 319 cartoons of mosquito coil and 237 used vehicles.

Already, he said 23 suspects had been arrested and were currently being interrogated, saying as soon as investigation was over, the culprits would be prosecuted accordingly in competent court of law.

Jalo remarked that from the statistics obtained by his team, it was clear that rice was the most smuggled item across the country, saying this was in spite of the concerted effort by the service and other stakeholders to enlighten the public on the dangers of rice smuggling to our economy.

He maintained that the restrictions on rice importation across the land borders were very much effective, saying rice can only be brought through our seaports.