Customs arrest 18 suspects over rice smuggling

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NSC), Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘A’ Ikeja Lagos, have arrested 18 suspected members of a smuggling syndicate.

NSC said in a statement that two of the suspects were specilised in forging Customs clearing documents to import vehicles through Cotonou port to the country.

The Acting Controller of Customs Zone A Hussein Kehinde Ejibunu said the arrest followed the apprehension of one Shuaibu Kolo with a 2007 Mercedes Benz along Ajilete-Idiroko Road in Ogun State.

After Kolo’s arrest, the Customs officials found over 600 pictures of vehicles domiciled in Benin Republic awaiting to undergo forged clearing process before being smuggled into the country by the syndicate.

Ejibunu disclosed that items recovered from the suspects included fake Customs valuation stamp, fake Customs duty chart book on vehicles, fake Customs documents and vehicle registration documents, four computer monitors, three computer processing units, one keyboard, and a printer.

Ejibunu said that 18 suspects were arrested in connection with various offenses are being investigated.

He said “Notable among the wares seized are: 5,328 x 50kg bags of foreign parboiled rice (equivalent to nine trailer-loads) and 1×40 ft. container of 512 cartons of generators, among others.”

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