FOOD SECURITY: Customs FOU ‘A’ Intercepts 880 Bags of Beans, 584 Bags of Onions, Others On Smuggling to Benin Republic

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Hussein Ejibunu, Acting Controller of Customs FOU Zone A, Ikeja Lagos displaying seizures by the unit

By DAPO OLAWUNI

The Eagle-eyed operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service under Compt Kehinde Ejibunu has intercepted export bound three trucks headed to the Republic of Benin laden with 880 bags of white beans, 584 bags of onions and 18 bags of dry pepper at Ajilete/Idiroko road in Ogun state.

In a press briefing in Lagos on Friday, Compt Ejibunu said that instead of seizing the food items, the Unit ensured the trucks were re-directed to the Nigerian markets where they were sold to Nigerians by the owners.

The customs anti-smuggling czar also raised concerns that smugglers now define a means of smuggling foreign parboiled rice in petroleum jerrycans, as the unit intercepted some along Ajilete in Ogun state.

He said the act is not only illegal but also exposes the potential consumers to the risk of eating contaminated grains that have ingested poisonous properties possibly from premium motor spirit (PMS), diesel, or other petroleum products.

Giving a breakdown of activities of the unit in February 2024, Compt Ejibunu said a total number of 93 seizures were made, as well as arrest of 9 suspects.

“The seizures made are worth a total duty paid value of N751,127,025

“We also prevented the smuggling of eleven exotic used vehicles worth over N200m into the country through our area of responsibility. Smugglers of these vehicles met our stiff resistance against their duty evasion and deviant behaviour.

“The sum of N78,164,255.20 was recovered as revenue into the federation account through the issuance of demand notices (DN) on Customs duties that were discovered to be underpaid.

“As usual, rice was top on the list of our February 2024 seizures in terms of volume and value. A total of 3,779 X 50kg bags of suspected foreign rice equivalent to over 7 trailer loads worth over N365m were seized from various parts of the South West.

“Other items seized in the month under review include one locally made gun and six pieces of empty cartridges at Abeokuta road, 731 parcels of Indian hemp weighing 482kg, 1 X 40ft container found to contain 286 cartons of new rubber slippers, 7 units of used motorcycles, 28,000 litres of premium motor spirit (PMS) and 2,420 pieces of used tyres” he said

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