The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has sealed a warehouse in Lagos for importing 4000 bags of foreign parboiled rice, which is equivalent to seven truckloads of rice.
According to the service, the bags of rice were seized within eight weeks.
Speaking recently in Ikeja, Lagos, the coordinator of Team A, Controller General of Customs Strike Force, Muhammad Yusuf, said that the service got the information of importation of that quantity of rice from a terminal operator.
Explaining further, he said that the bonded warehouse operator, who noticed that the container he was expecting had been diverted, informed officers of the development.
He said that three suspects had been arrested in connection with the seizures.
“We made this seizure in collaboration with a terminal operator. The terminal operator discovered that the container he was expecting has been diverted and informed us and we went into action. We spent three days there and eventually discovered the container in a warehouse.
“We have sealed up the warehouse. The warehouse was about one-storey building and inside the building, there was an open space. We took delivery of the consignment and sealed the place. Since then, nobody has come for the warehouse.
“We have suspects, of course. Because of the sensitive nature of these seizures, we have extended the time for the suspects so that they won’t access bail while the investigations are going on. We have three suspects.”
Yusuf said that importers of the bags of rice were in the habit of bringing in products without paying duties.