Not less than 224 bags of parboiled foreign rice have been siezed from smugglers in Ilorin, the Kwara State Capital by the Joint Border Operations (JBOD) Sector 3 under the leadership of Comptroller Mohammed Uba Garba.
The sector in a statement issued and signed the Public Remations Officer, Kwara Command, Chado Zakari on Thursday (April 30, 2020) revealed that the seizure was carried out by the sector covering North Central States (Niger/Kwara/Kogi and Benue States) under leadership of Compt. Mohammed Uba Garba.
The statement hinted that some die hard smugglers defied Presidential order and continue to carry out their nefarious activities amidst COVID-19 pandemic, hence the need to face the wrath of the law becomes necessary.
”Early hours of Thursday, the roving team also stormed ITA-MERIN Area of Ilorin West Local Government of Kwara State while smugglers where in the process of offloading the smuggled Rice into a residential quarters. The area was immediately Condon and the Rice were evacuated to Customs house Ilorin, after the examination, a total of 224 Bags of Rice was discovered.”
”Few days into the lockdown order amidst Covid-19 pandemic, the joint border operations drill Sector 3 have intensified anti-smuggling Operations in the zone with a view to curtail activities of economic saboteurs” the statement added.
Garba pledged that the Joint Border Operations (JBOD) would continued to make the Zone unfavorable for the Smugglers which he said had led to 44 Seizures from March, 2020 till date.
“The Customs and excise Management act (CEMA) Section- 147 gives power to Customs officers to search and raid any premises suspected to house with smuggled goods. The Headquarters Roving team comprising of Nigeria Customs Officers, Nigeria Army, Nigeria Immigration Service, DSS, Nigeria Police and other security agencies involve in this National assignment were recently drafted to a warehouse at Abayawo Area of Ilorin West Local Government of Kwara State suspected to stock pile with foreign par boiled Rice. The store was raided and a total of 450 Bags of foreign Parboiled Rice of 50kg each was discovered to be smuggled in to the State, stored in residential apartment.
He explained that the rice was immediately evacuated to Customs warehouse Ilorin, adding that the command was still trailing those involved in the criminal act, saying that they will soon be fished out for prosecution.
Axxording to the statement, the breakdown of the seized goods within the period under review include 1,657 Bags of foreign par boiled Rice which brought the Total number of seized Bags of rice from August last year to 14,813 Bags of 50Kg each which is equivalent to twenty Two (22) Trailers of Rice with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of 451, 685. 900
Others are 282 Kegs of Vegetable oil, 898 Drums of AGO, 1355 Jerry Cans of Petroleum Product, 348 Bundles of Textile Materials, 28 Bags of foreign fertilizer, 66 Cartons of different brand of Beers, 26 Units of Vehicles, and 8 Motor Cycles.
This, the statement said, has brought the total seizure of the Sector from August 2019 to Ninety Six (96) with duty paid value (DPV) 1, 041, 082, 880. 00 with 45 suspects.
The Coordinator therefore appealed to the general public to embrace legitimate means of livelihood and to avoid smuggling in all its ramifications, warning that the Sector was combatant ready to halt all the activities of economic saboteurs who want to perpetrate their illicit acts.
“The Coordinator Joint Border Operations Drill Sector 3 Compt. Mohammed Uba Garba declared that we shall ensure that the maximum revenue collection is made through the appropriate channel of the service as directed by the Comptroller of Customs Service, Col Hammed Ali (rtd) We at the sector 3 are committed and determined not to fail in actualizing the goals of the Service that is to stem the activities of smugglers.
“The policy of the present administration on suppression of smuggling activities, blockage of revenue leakages and maximum revenue generation without compromising national interest and security of the country is strictly adhered to.
“The complete closure of our land borders as directed by Mr. President is fully in force as no stone is left unturned. Our effort in implementing such orders had led to repatriation of several illegal immigrants
“To this end, the Coordinator assured that the Officers and Men of Joint Border Operations (JBOD) Sector 3 will not relent in their efforts to reduce smuggling to the barest minimum” the statement read in part.