The Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘C’ of the Nigerian Customs Services (NCS) has seized banned goods valued at more than N200 million in the Benin axis.
Mr Kayode Olusemire, the FOU Comptroller in the zone, disclosed this at a media briefing on Wednesday in Benin.
Olusemire said that the items comprised eight vehicles brought illegally into the country through land worth N167.1 million and 1,572 bags of 50 kilogramme foreign rice valued at N32 million.
He also said that the Duty Paid Value (DPV) of the trucks used for smuggling the rice as well as the value for the 25 wraps of substance suspected to be cannabis (Indian hemp) were included.
The comptroller said that the seizure was made from March ending till date.
Olusemire, who also disclosed that six suspects were arrested within the period, however, said that they had been granted administrative bail.
He lamented that the non-relenting attitude of smugglers in spite of seizures, noting that rice concealed the item in silos and GP plastic tanks to beat customs.
He however said that despite the new techniques devised by smugglers to bring in goods into the country, the NCS had the ingenuity to catch up with them.
Olusemire said that the service was prepared and capable to protect the economy and the country from those he described as deviants and enemy of the nation.
On the seized vehicles, he said that they would be auctioned through the NCS e-auction platform, beginning from Monday next week.
The comptroller noted that government’s policy stipulated that cars should be imported through the seaport for proper documentation.
He appealed to journalists to help the service to sensitise the public on the ills of smuggling on the economy.
He also appealed to the people, especially motorists, to always be patient with customs officers on stop-and-search duty on the road.