The Nigeria Customs Service has smashed a major rice smuggling syndicate around the Idiroko part of the country’s borders. This was disclosed yesterday night 6th July 2020 through a video which shows an ingenious method where plastic 25-litre kegs were filled with rice and then concealed with palm oil close to the brim. They also showed in the full video, cars smuggled into the country through the interior villages close to the borders, including an armoured Toyota Land Cruiser 2019 model worth more than two hundred million Naira.
The Customs has been in the forefront of enforcing the economic policies of the Federal Government to curtail loss of revenue which smuggling of cars causes, importation of arms and ammunitions, and importation of banned produce and products.
There have been cases where people were caught conveying rice or ammunitions in extended petrol tank compartments of vehicles, while others are caught concealing rice on their own bodies. Some even tie the rice on their heads under scarfs and head-ties just as they also tie some across their chests and belly.
The ban on imported rice was to encourage the sales of locally produced ones to boost local rice farming and provide the farmers and entrepreneurs with enough market and revenue to continue to increase yield and quality of rice.
The policies have made many farmers and entrepreneurs become millionaires in the past few years, and the capacity of rice farming has widened in the country.
Regarding the vehicles smuggled, the Customs said that aside from evading documentation and dues, vehicles like the armoured Toyota Land Cruiser 2019 model poses a lot of security threats to the country, especially at a time that criminals are frustrated and are doing everything they could to take advantage of the volatile situation of the country in the past year. They said that the importation of the Land Cruiser for example, require an application to the National Security Adviser, then an application for the end user certificate, coupled with the 17% that should be paid to the Federal Government through Customs as duties. They said that the vehicle becomes a grievous security threat if it gets into the wrong hands as it will enhance criminal activities because of the fact that it can be driven through security barricades and most bullets cannot penetrate it. So, with the spate of kidnapping, armed robbery and even terrorism, the vehicle will be deadly if criminals lay hands on it.
Should you need to watch the full video including the one showing one of the vehicles smuggled, please click on this link.
The Nigeria Customs Service pleads with the good citizens to support them with information about any dubious activity that leads to smuggling. It says that the informants will have their identity protected. It added that it depends on such information to build its intelligence reports.