By Lateef Taiwo
The Nigeria Customs Service said it intercepted 203 bags of imported rice, five vehicles, and 1,245 rounds of live ammunition worth N17m abandoned in a bush path in the Yewa-North Local Government Area of Ogun State.
The state’s Area Comptroller, Bamidele Makinde, disclosed this to newsmen in Abeokuta on Monday.
He said, “On “At about 0024 hours on Friday, 12th August, 2023, the Roving B Team of the Command intercepted five old vehicles, (Toyota Camry with Chassis No. 4TIBG22KIWU312145, Toyota Camry with Chassis No. 4TIXK1263NU108237 and three Mazda 626 cars with Chassis Nos. JM2GD14H201568566, JMZGF14F201173029, and JMZGF14P20141862 respectively), loaded with 203 bags of foreign parboiled rice of 50kg each abandoned in a bush path at Tobolo Junction, close to an exit point to the Republic of Benin, and near Ijoun, Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State, Nigeria.”
Bamidele noted that while the Command was examining the seized vehicles, it found out that live ammunition was concealed in 20 bags of rice.
In his words, “During the examination of the seized vehicles and the item, about 1,245 rounds of 70mm (2¾”) live ammunition of Lion, Trust, Supreme and Redstar branded cartridges were found to have been ingeniously concealed in 20 bags of the intercepted foreign rice.”
Bamidele said the items have been deposited for safekeeping while an investigation has commenced to identify the smugglers.
“The Duty Paid Value of the seized ammunition and rice is N17,638,145.00 The items have been deposited for safekeeping, pending further necessary action.
“Investigation is ongoing to unravel the cartel responsible for the attempted smuggling of the items for arrest and prosecution,” he concluded.