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Smugglers hide rice in gas cylinders, says it’s devil

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YOU have heard of rice smuggled in caskets, petrol tankers and concealed under piles of cane sugar. Now smugglers are moving the precious grains in domestic gas cylinders.

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on Wednesday said it intercepted 1,393 bags of rice concealed in gas cylinders in Ogun State between February 5 and 17, 2020.

Also impounded were 625 cartons of frozen chicken, 187 jars and 66 drums of vegetable oil, among other items within the period under review.

The Acting Controller of FOU Zone A, Usman Yahaya, who made disclosure attributed the breakthrough to unrelenting efforts of his men, saying it has continued to yield more result in his anti-smuggling drive.

Read Also: Navy nabs 13 smugglers
“Barely two weeks after the Comptroller-General of Customs, in Lagos, showcased various seizures made by the FOU A worth over N10 billion, we have again intercepted 1,393 bags of smuggled foreign parboiled rice, 187 jerrycans/66 drums of foreign vegetable oil and 625 cartons of poultry products from unapproved routes within Ogun State between 5th-17th February 2020 based on surveillance and routine patrol,” Yahaya said.

The items, which were conveyed in 12 different vehicles and also concealed in gas cylinders, have a cumulative duty paid value (DPV) of N40.14 million.

“This desperate act by these daredevil smugglers concealing edible items in gas cylinders further justifies the hard chase by operatives of Customs. DPV of each type of seized items include rice, N27.86 million; vegetable oil, N6.28 million, and frozen poultry N6 million,” a statement by the zone’s spokesman, Jerry Attah, read.

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