From Gyang Pam, Yola
Fifteen persons have been arrested by the Adamawa and Taraba Zone of the Nigeria Customs for smuggling foreign rice and re-bagging same as local rice.
Zonal Controller of the Command Karmadeen Olumoh who addressed newsmen disclosed that the syndicate comprised of fifteen persons who empty the foreign rice into Nigeria-branded bags.
According to the Controller, these tricks are meant to beat efforts of the customs in controlling the sale of foreign rice in Adamawa State markets.
This action contravenes Federal Governments ban on importation of foreign rice.
The Customs Controller had conducted newsmen into a warehouse in Yola the Adamawa State capital said this followed a tip-off.
“In our continued effort towards sustaining the effort towards sustaining the fight against smuggling, officers and men of the Adamawa and Taraba command in conjunction with the Federal Operation Unit and Taskforce stumbled on this warehouse”, he says.
Karmadeen further adds, “What we have here is foreign parboiled rice smuggled into the country, what they are doing here is repackaging as they open the bags of the foreign rice and empty them into local-branded bags”.
He stated that 900 bags of 50kg valued at N14.5 million is what the newsmen are seeing thus causing the arrest of the 15 suspects including the manager, the warehouse owner and twelve labourers.
Also, the command has apprehended a truck containing bags of rice and beans.
The truck is said to have passed the consignment as 450 bags of beans but which contained more foreign rice than supposed locally grown beans.
According to the Zonal Controller, the owners had told his men that the truck had 450 bags of beans but after 100% inspection it was discovered that there were 300 bags of beans packed over 150 bags of imported rice.
“Each of the 150 bags of rice contained 150kg meaning we had three 50kg bags of rice in one bag so what we discovered is 450 bags of rice so in total we have 300 bags of beans and 450 bags of rice in 50 kg bags”, he revealed.
The Controller said the total value for the rice was N7.2million while the beans is valued at N3 million coupled with three suspects arrested.
He believes the impossible close of borders in the state has been the case but they are doing their best to curtail smuggling.