The Customs Comptroller in charge of Adamawa/Taraba Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Mr Kamardeen Olumoh, has confirmed the arrest of 15 suspects for re-bagging foriegn rice to be sold as local rice.
Speaking to newsmen on the arrest on Tuesday, Olumoh said the suspects were arrested in the act in a warehouse in Yola.
“In continuous effort towards sustaining the fight against smugglers, officers and men of the command in conjunction with our Federal Operation Unit and Strike Force stumble on this warehouse.
“What they are doing here is re-bagging the foreign rice,” Olumoh said.
He noted that 900 bags with duty paid value of N14.5 million were found in the warehouse.
“We have 15 suspects including the manager of the warehouse and some labourers.
“We can assure you that they’ll be prosecuted according to the law,” Olumoh assured.
Olumoh said the command would soon raid Yola market for foriegn rice.
The controller also showed a truck arrested with foriegn rice along Mubi-Yola road covered with bags of assorted grains with duty paid value of N10.3 million. He said three suspects were arrested in connection with the lorry.
Speaking on the developments, a rice farmer, who simply identified himself as Ande, lauded the development pointing out that the clampdown on foriegn rice had led to appreciation in the price of local rice.
“As farmers, this is one of the best thing government has done to us. It should be sustain for farming to continue to be attractive to Nigerians, ” Ande said.