See how Smugglers conceal bags of rice with palm kernel shells Imo


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A truck with no number plate and carrying over 400 bags of foreign parboiled rice, concealed with bags of poultry feeds and palm kernel shell, has been intercepted and seized by the officers of the Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘C’, Owerri, Imo State.

Briefing journalists at the FOU Zone ‘C’ headquarters, Owerri on Saturday, the Customs Area Controller, Mr Kayode Olusemire, stated that the bags of rice were smartly concealed with the items to deceive the officers of the unit at checkpoints.
He stated that there was no tip-off as to the arrest, but that the truck was intercepted following intelligence gathering by the Customs operatives in the zone.
“The truck was loaded from the creeks and was intercepted along the Port Harcourt axis. The bags of contraband rice were concealed right round with the bags of palm kernel shells and poultry feeds. They also used them to cover the top so that it would look as if the truck was conveying only bags of palm kernel shells and poultry feeds to the intended destination,” Olusemire explained.

He, however, wondered why smugglers had continued to import foreign parboiled rice into the country, despite the campaign by the Federal Government against such.
Olusemire lamented the love of Nigerians for foreign rice, when the country’s rice milling factories were producing fresh, affordable and more nutritious rice.

“Parboiled foreign rice is not fresh. It stays up to four to five months or more on the high sea before it is consumed. It is not good to human health considering number of months it stays on the sea and the chemicals used in preserving the grains from getting spoilt,” he stated.

 He therefore advised Nigerians to patronise locally-milled rice, which he added was fresher and the cultivation and processing of which were generating employment and enhancing the nation’s economy.
“As far we are concerned, the officers and men of the Federal Operations Unit, Zone C are out to salvage this country from collapsing economically. If smugglers take one step ahead, we will take two to get rid of their nefarious and obnoxious activities. We shall never allow the mandate for which the Customs service was established to be undermined by smugglers,” Olusemire added.

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