The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted 750 bags of diesel fuel loaded in trailers and 237 bags of rice concealed in a fuel tanker within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Briefing newsmen on Friday at the Customs warehouse in Karu, Abuja where the seized trucks were impounded, the Controller, Enforcement at the Customs headquarters in Abuja, Comptroller Kayode Olusemire, said the AGO (diesel) consignment has a volume of 45,000 litres and is worth N21.920 million in Duty Paid Value (DPV).
He said the Customs operatives arrested six persons along with the diesel bags in trailers which were covered with sawdust to conceal them, from Port Harcourt to Kaduna.
A driver of the truck, Abdullahi Idris, 25, said he felt sad over the situation.
Idris said he did not know the content of the trailer he was driving and how much was paid to the owner of the trailer to convey the smuggled diesel to Kaduna.
Speaking on the interception of the smuggled diesel, Olusemire said: “This was due to information.
“We are begging people in the society, if you know of any people doing things like this, do not hesitate to inform the Service as we are fighting for the same goal.
“We are handing them over to the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) since offences on oil theft, vandalism of pipelines and bunkering fall within their purview, for further interrogation and possibly for prosecution.”
Operatives of the Service intercepted the 237 bags of parboiled foreign ‘Marori Benz’ rice in 50-kilogramme sack each, concealed in a petrol tanker that had no number plate within the FCT.
“We should not be playing with the little foreign exchange we can earn by importing foreign rice when we have the local capacity to plant rice.
“We made two arrests but they have been granted administrative bail after 48 hours.”
Olusemire, however, said Customs was following up on the case for further investigation.