The Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit, Zone C, Owerri has confiscated contraband worth N90 million in Imo State.
Kayode Olusemire, the NCS Controller in Imo State, made the disclosure while displaying the seized items at the NCS office in Owerri on Tuesday.
Olusemire listed the items to include 936 bags of foreign 50kg rice, most of which were repackaged in local rice bags and disguised as such, with the foreign rice bags stacked in the conveying vehicle.
Others are 126 bales of used fabrics, a Hummer bus, a construction lorry and a van, among others used in conveying the smuggled items.
Olusemire said the items were intercepted enroute Imo State from Akwa Ibom and Anambra States, adding that operational activities were carried out simultaneously in other states of the federation.
He regretted that one of the vehicles, which belonged to a famous transport company, was used to smuggle the items.
He, however, gave an assurance that the service had established communication with the said company and efforts were in top gear to arrest and prosecute the driver who, according to him, jumped out of the vehicle when he sighted on-duty officers of the NCS at midnight.
Olusemire said: “It is regrettable that while we are waging the war against smuggling, these smugglers are devising other means to perpetrate their evil deeds without recourse to the health and safety of Nigerians.
“We have established communication with the transport company whose bus was used to carry out this heinous act and we assure that the driver as well as all other smugglers will soon be brought to book.”
Olusemire further advised consumers to beware of foreign and substandard consumables usually disguised as locally-made and standard, saying such items posed serious health and safety hazards.