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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Customs busts Adamawa syndicate rebagging foreign rice as local

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has identified and arrested members of a syndicate that took up the activity of importing foreign rice and rebagging it as local rice.

The Adamawa/Taraba Command of the NCS which achieved the feat, also seized 150 bags of foreign rice concealed under 300 bags of beans in a truck conveying the consignment.

The Zonal Controller of the Command, Karmadeen Olumoh, who addressed newsmen on the developments on Tuesday, said the rice rebagging syndicate comprises 15 members who specialize in emptying bags of foreign rice into Nigeria-branded bags and passing them off as local rice.


The Customs controller said the practice, indulged mainly to beat efforts to control sale of foreign rice in Adamawa markets, contravenes Federal Government’s rice import ban and actually frustrates moves by the Customs Service to mop up foreign rice from the markets.

Karmadeen Olumoh who conducted  newsmen to the rice rebagging warehouse in Yola, told the newsmen, “In our continuous efforts towards sustaining the fight against smuggling, officers and men of the Adamawa/Taraba Command, in conjunction with Federal Operation Unit and Taskforce, stumbled on this warehouse.

“What we have here is foreign parboiled rice smuggled into the country. What they are doing here is to repackage. They open the bags of foreign rice and empty them into local-branded bags.

“We have here about 900 bags of rice, each 50 kg. The duty paid value is M14.5 million.

We have arrested 15 suspects, including the manager, the warehouse owner and 12 labourers.”

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