The Nigerian Customs Service, Federal Operation Unit, Zone ‘C’ said it has intercepted 17 contraband goods and 21 underpayments all worth N194,656, 855 in January, 2017.
Public Relations Officer of the unit, Ifeoma Ojekwu disclosed this in a statement.
The unit’s Customs Area Controller, Mohammed Garba said 18 people have been arrested in conection to the impounded goods which were seized along Owerri- Benin-Enugu-Calabar axis.
He said items confiscated include nine vehicles worth N35,900,920.00 , 382 pieces of foreign smuggled used tyres valued at N6,288,000.00 and 3,077 bags of 50kg foreign rice estimated at N80,093,300.00.
Garba said rice smuggling could destroy the country’s economy totally.
“It reduces government’s revenue, stifles domestic rice industries in addition to distorting supply and consumption data usually applied by the government as references for sound policy planning,” he added.
He warned Nigerians against smuggling, stating that it usually has unpleasant results on people’s lives.
He said, “Smuggling is detrimental to the nation’s economy, their own lives and the society at large.”
He added that many lives have been lost due to the importation of fairly-used tyres into the country.
“I therefore advise member of the public with unquenchable appetite, interest and desire for foreign prohibited materials to quickly purge themselves of this in their own interest. I regret that many families have been ruined as a result of this,” he noted.