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The Ogun State Area Command, Nigeria Customs Service, has intercepted a petrol tanker and about 25 other vehicles loaded with smuggled bags of rice.
The new Area Controller, Hassan Gangua, on Thursday added that the interceptions were recorded in different parts of the state in the last two weeks.
Ganga, who spoke at the command’s Idiroko border office, explained that the MAN diesel petrol tanker with number plate, FST 51 XE, was specially built for smuggling.
He said the tanker, which was filled to capacity with the smuggled rice, was intercepted by customs operatives on Monday November 15, 2016, along the Idiroko border area, on its way to Lagos.
“This interception was made 24 hours after my arrival by our gallant officers,” he added.
Gangua added that 25 cars with built-in compartments, loaded with bags of smuggled rice, were also intercepted in the Idiroko area.
The area controller said a trailer was also intercepted at the Lagos-Sagamu interchange with about 500 bags of rice on Monday November 21, 2016.
He said, “The goods, which were neatly packed, were being taken to the Eastern part of the country to be sold in the open market.”
Gangua said three suspects, Anthony Nwapa, Osunkwo Chukwu and Hyginus Igbokwe, were arrested in connection with the seizure, while preliminary investigation was ongoing.
He also said in the last one week, four vehicles loaded with 4,000 cartons of frozen poultry products and 19 motorcycles used for smuggling of rice were intercepted. He said the poultry products had been destroyed.
Gangua noted that as Yuletide approached, smuggling had been on the increase.
He, however, stated that the command had step up its operations, “in order to combat the menace of the smugglers and bring their activities down to barest minimum.”