The Nigeria Customs Service, Zone “B” Federal Operations Unit (FOU), has impounded a petrol tanker, a J5 bus and a truck filled with smuggled rice on the Kaduna-Zaria axis.
Usman Dakingari, the Controller, FOU Zone B, dropped the hint while addressing journalists on the seizures in Kaduna on Wednesday.
He said that the customs acted on a tip-off from a good Nigerian, to make the arrest.
“Today, like any other day, ingenious empty tanker, which ordinarily is supposed to carry petroleum product was carrying something else and a soft-drink truck vehicle was also conveying smuggled rice.
“The consumption of such rice, hidden in petroleum tanker, is dangerous to health.
“We have also seen a lot of soft drinks vehicles used in conveying second-hand clothing, but today, this petroleum tanker is used in carrying rice; this shows how desperate smugglers are now,” he said.
Dakingari noted that smugglers were ready to continue with their nefarious activities by devising various means in doing that.
According to him, the duty value of the seized rice and vehicles has not been ascertained.
The customs officer said that the suspects had been arrested while investigation had started.
Dakingari said that another truck conveying smuggled rice, concealed in a bigger bag of maize, was also seized by the customs.
“As you can see, the desperation continues and ordinarily no one would suspect this; but it was based on credible information received from the people.
“As I have always said, the smugglers work 24 hours and the customs work 24 hours too to sabotage the efforts of the economic saboteurs,” he said.
Dakingari urged people in the area to continue to give prompt and genuine information to the customs, to discourage smuggling.