The Oyo/Osun Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service said it impounded 25 vehicles smuggled into Nigeria with contraband goods through illegal routes.
The controller of the command, Temitope Ogunkua, said a total of 342 bags of rice were loaded in 23 of the vehicles, with duty paid value of about N2.9m. Two other trucks were also loaded with hundreds of bags of rice.
Among the vehicles seized was a bulletproof Toyota Land Cruiser Prado Jeep, Toyota Avalon, Toyota Venza and articulated vehicles used to load the smuggled goods. Apart from being used to smuggle rice into the country, owners of some of the vehicles chose the illegal routes to escape paying duty on them.
Ogunkua said, “The seizures were made at different locations within the command’s area of coverage. Some of the strategic seizures made in the first half of the year also included 226 packages of cannabis sativa; 3,948 bags of rice with duty paid value of N32m; 65 fairly-used assorted vehicles with duty paid value of N72.3m; and 66 cartons of frozen imported poultry products with duty paid value of N548,262.
“It is noteworthy to also report that around N156.2m was paid in duty on 948 vehicles during the first half of the year. The command will continue to look forward to unprecedented performance in the second half of the year. Diversification in intelligence gathering and utilisation, application of diplomacy in anti-smuggling activity especially in volatile border areas will enable the command to consistently build on both revenue and anti-smuggling feats.”