Border closure: 33 containers of expired rice seized at seaport

⦁ Customs to investigate Masters Energy, others over seizure

The Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd) on Tuesday stated that 33 containers of expired and spoilt rice, alongside 11 containers of unregistered pharmaceutical products, two containers of used tires, four containers of refined vegetable oil in retail packs have been seized at the Tin-Can Island ports by the Tin-Can Customs Command.

This was even as the Customs CG mentioned that firms like Masters Energy Commodities Trading Limited and others will be investigated over connections to the seized expired bags of rice.

Addressing journalists at the Tin-Can Island Customs Command on Tuesday in Lagos, Col. Hameed Ali stated that in all, 54 containers comprising of 15by40ft and 39by20ft containers with a duty paid value of N2,713,865,051.00 were seized in line with the provisions of the Customs & Excise Management Act (CEMA) Cap C45 LFN 2004 section 46 and 161.

According to Col. Hameed Ali: “One significant finding of this seizure is that all the rice are expired or about to expire. Also remarkable is the seizures of Tramadol variants and unregistered performance-enhancing drugs among the pharmaceutical.

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“You will recall that in the past, the Service has raised the alarm and drew the attention of the general public to the fact that most of the imported rice is expired.

“Some of the rice allegedly imported from overseas had Nigerian addresses, and the Service will be going after these addresses to investigate their connections to the importation of these expired rice.

“Some of the addresses include Masters Energy Commodities Trading Limited located at 31A, Remi Fani-Kayode Street, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos and 103, Ebittu Ukiwe Street, Jabi, Abuja.

“We will be going after these addresses and investigating their connections with these expired bags of rice in 33 containers.

“I want to commend officers and men of the Tin-Can Island Port Command of the NCS for a job well done. I am also aware of the Commands contribution to the Service revenue collection drive. Statistics in my office shows the command has so far collected N286,742,551,443.00 from January 2019 till date. I, therefore, urge the Command to keep up the good work and possibly surpass its target.”

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