The Tin Can Island Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted 33 containers of expired and rotten rice and different illicit gadgets value N2.713 billion imported into the nation by way of the seaport.
It was learnt that the rice, which was packaged in 50 KG baggage for Nigerian corporations had already spoilt, rotten, filled with maggots and cockroaches.
Our correspondent learnt that the rice, which had expired since 2018, was imported from China and Thailand and was about to be smuggled into the Nigerian market; one of many containers contained some empty baggage with new dates throughout inspection, apparently, for use to rebag the expired rice.
Speaking at a media briefing on the seizure of rice and Tramadol on the Tin Can Island Port Command, the Controller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali, stated that different gadgets seized included one container of rice hid with spare components, 11 containers of unregistered pharmaceutical merchandise, two containers of used tyres, one container of used clothes and 4 containers of refined vegetable oil in retail packs.
According to him, all of the containers have been seized according to the provisions of Customs and Excise Management Act Cap C45 LFN 2004 sections 46 and 161.
The Customs boss added that efforts have been on to arrest the individuals behind the smuggling act going by the assorted addresses on the luggage of rice and contacts on importation paperwork.
He stated: “One vital factor about this seizure is that every one the rice has expired or about to run out. Also outstanding is the seizure of variants and unregistered performance-enhancing medication among the many pharmaceutical.
“No doubt, those who imported these dangerous items do not wish us well. Imagine if they had succeeded in getting the expired rice in and then re-bagged and changed the expiration date for Nigerians to consume?”
Following the continuing partial closure of the land border, he stated because the inception of the train, assortments of outstanding seizures had been recorded throughout the assorted sides of its operations.
“Specifically, we’re conscious that the partial closure of the land border has resulted within the diversion of some cargo again to our seaports. While we welcome this growth, which little doubt will increase our income, enhance our commerce reality and figures and maintain our diversification efforts, we’ve got additionally recorded numerous seizures of unwholesome merchandise, which in any other case would have been smuggled by way of the borders.
“Realising that there could also be a potential backlash to the closure of the land borders, I directed all seaports and airports to beef up their surveillance and intercept any illicit and prohibited consignment for which try for his or her smuggling perhaps made by way of these entry factors.
“This decision was made considering that those consignments may have been paid for and the importers will devise means to ensure they are delivered to their warehouses in Nigeria,” he added.