Operatives of the Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone 'A' ,Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) have smashed a rice smuggling ring, impounding 7,269 50-kilogramme bags of the commodity at Agbara along the Badagry Expressway.
Area Controller, Customs FOU Zone 'A', Comptroller Dan Ugo, said that the seizure was made by a team led by two officers, Messrs Kirawa Abdullahi and Zarka Audu.
The team was said to have been tipped off and it swung into action, catching up with smugglers at Agbara.
Ugo said: "What you see here is in furtherance to the wake-up call by the Comptroller-General of Customs, Dr. Abdullahi Dikko Inde, on zero tolerance for importation of rice through the land borders. The unit will continue to collaborate with the Rice Importers Association of Nigeria and other critical stakeholders in ensuring that the unpatriotic attitudes of these "businessmen" are nipped in the bud."
According to Ugo, the Customs chief had directed personnel of the Service to work hard during the yuletide to stop smugglers.
In a related development, the unit intercepted a truckload of 155 bags of parboiled rice and 95 25-litre kegs of vegetable oil on the Shaki-Igbokpe Road in Oyo State.
The Zone 'A' FOU boss said that the seizure followed harmonisation of intelligence gathering by three teams in the unit.
While lauding the Customs Management for providing the logistics and tools which aided the seizure, Ugo praised his officers for their dedication to duty.