Customs: Again, FOU Zone C Owerri impounds foreign rice, others worth N91M


The Customs Area Controller Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone C, Owerri has called on smugglers to turn a new leaf and support government policies and build the economy of the nation.

Comptroller Olusemire Kayode who made the call on Tuesday in a press briefing in Owerri, the Imo state capital affirmed that officers and men of the Unit remained unrelenting and resolute in bringing smuggling to its barest minimum in the zone.

He noted that barely a week after the last press briefing to showcase seizures made by his officers, more seizures have been made of foreign rice and other items with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N91 million.

“Despite all efforts and advocacy and plea for people to stop smuggling, see them bringing rice again. We have here a trailer containing 670 bags of Tomato foreign rice. This time the rice was re-bagged to show that it was Patriot Rice from Argungun in Kebbi state, whereas it is foreign rice. The original bags meant for them are foreign. It was re-bagged as a disguise but we got the information and picked it up at Ibilo.

“That shows people will not relent. Smugglers are deviants in the society. No matter what you tell them, no matter government policy, their own is to see how they will sabotage government efforts. No matter their antics we are always one step ahead and we will always get them,” he assured calling for the support of the public in the fight against smuggling.

He disclosed that another heavy duty vehicle, popularly called tipper used for transporting granite, was intercepted along Akwa Ibom axis with 275 bags of rice concealed within.

The CAC speaking further said the Unit had written to Enugu State Transport Company on three of their vehicles intercepted with bales of second hand clothing concealed within. He said smuggling of second hand clothing has contributed heavily to the woes of the textile industry, adding that investigations were ongoing and all culprits will be prosecuted.

Comptroller Olusemire who decried the activities of smugglers as it negatively affects the socio economic wellbeing of the country however stated that the Service is not relenting in its mission to suppress smuggling, and protection of our national borders, amongst others.

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