The Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd) has disclosed that a total of 117, 034 (50kg) bags of rice have been seized at the nation’s land borders, at a duty paid value of N774, 282, by the Nigerian Customs Service within the first quarters of 2016.
Speaking yesterday at a joint press conference on illegal rice importation to Nigeria, Ali frowned that the increase in seizure had revealed several ingenious, but devilish ways of smuggling into the country, what Nigerians consume as food.
He pointed out some of the unhygienic ways in which these bags of rice are smuggled into the country. “We have seen rice conveyed in open wooden canoes across our creeks and water ways with generous amount of dirty water splashing on them.
We have seen some mixed with other grain bags to deceive Customs. Some are stuffed inside any available crevice and compartments of vehicles, including the engine area. The concealed rice is thereafter re-bagged, half cooked or otherwise and presented in our markets for sale as imported rice,” he said.