Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano
Over 500 bags of smuggled rice neatly concealed inside two of three compartments of a fuel tanker was yesterday intercepted along Daura Road in Kano State by officers of Kano/Jigawa Customs Command.
The Customs Comptroller of the Command, Ahmed Nasiru told journalits in Kano yesterday that the impounded rice was valued at millions of Naira.
He expressed disgust at the new trick adopted by the smugglers to beat Customs checkpoints, lamenting the health hazards of using fuel tankers to smuggle food items.
“Rice seizures are what we do every day. There is something in what we are witnessing today where smugglers now resort to using fuel or diesel tankers to smuggle items such as rice.
“Now, we are talking about the health hazards of these foreign rice concealed inside compartments made for the storage of fuel and diesel. You can agree with me that such item may no longer be safe for consumption because it is already poisonous.
“Again, you can agree with me that since these smugglers can use fuel tankers to smuggle rice, they can also use the same mode to smuggle dangerous items such as arms and ammunition, guns, tramodol and other illicit drugs. We need to be watchful.
“We need to join hands as good citizens to fight and discourage the activities of smugglers because they are not only the enemies of our nation’s economy; they are enemies of Nigerians because they are bringing in items that are not good for our health.”
The Customs boss, who said the driver and motor boy of the fuel tanker with registration number NSR 95 ZC, used in smuggling the rice fled during the operation, also hinted that about two people arrested in connection with smuggled rice would be tried at a Federal High Court in Kano in November.