Customs impounds bullion van with smuggled rice, over N24m in Ogun

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Ogun Area Command II, has intercepted a bullion van loaded with 12 bags of 50kg smuggled foreign parboiled rice.

The van, with registration number, FKJ 993 BZ was impounded alongside the sum of N24.4milliin belonging to an Abeokuta branch of Access bank.

The Customs Area Controller, Olusola Alade, disclosed this to newsmen in Abeokuta on Friday while handing over the bullion van and the money to officials of Bankers Warehouse and Access bank in Abeokuta.

According to Alade, the bullion van which belongs to Bankers Warehouse Limited was impounded in April 2022 by operatives of Joint Border Patrol team along Sokoto-ljoun/Joga road, Abeokuta axis of the state.

Alade said, the Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adeniyi ordered the release of the bullion van and the money to both Bankers Warehouse and Access on compassionate ground after investigation .

The Area Controller added that, three suspects were arrested and charged to court in connection with the crime.

“On April 22, 2022, Officers and Men of Joint Border Patrol Team at the Olorunda axis of Ogun State, intercepted the used Bullion Van with Reg. No. FKK 993 BZ.

” Found to have concealed some bags of foreign parboiled rice and N24.4million, along the Sokoto-ljoun/Joga road, Abeokuta axis of Ogun State.

“The foreign parboiled rice which were 12 bags of 50kg each were carefully concealed in the said vehicle.

“Consequently, the said vehicle and the items were conveyed to the Customs House, Abeokuta for safekeeping.

” After conducting examination on the vehicle, the said amount of money was discovered and deposited at Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Abeokuta branch for safekeeping.

“The vehicle was detained while the rice was converted to seizure in line with section 168 of Nigeria Customs Service Act, 2023.

“In connection to the above seizures, three suspects were arrested, detained, granted administrative bail and subsequently charged to Court for aiding smuggling.

“In a bid to retrieve the detained Bullion Van and the money, the Bankers Warehouse Ltd and Access Bank wrote an appeal letter to the Comptroller General of Customs for release on compassionate ground.

“Based on the outcome of investigation and recommendations of the Investigation Unit of the Nigeria Customs Service, the Comptroller General of Customs granted an approval for the release of the detained van and the money.

” This is in line with the provision of section 248 (1) and (2) of NCS Act, 2023,” he said.

The Area Controller said the customs would not relent in its effort in fighting smuggling and other criminality in the state.

He disclosed that the command generated a total of over N21.6billion as revenue for year 2023.

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