Customs intercepts bullion van with smuggled Rice, N24million cash in Ogun

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Ogun Area Command II, intercepted a bullion van transporting 12 bags of 50kg smuggled foreign parboiled rice.

The van, bearing registration number FKJ 993 BZ, was also found carrying N24,489,500.00 belonging to the Abeokuta branch of Access Bank.

Customs Area Controller, Olusola Alade, revealed this information to journalists during the handover of the bullion van and money to officials from Bankers Warehouse and Access Bank in Abeokuta on Friday.

Alade stated that the bullion van, owned by Bankers Warehouse Ltd., was impounded in April 2022 by operatives of the Joint Border Patrol team along Sokoto-Ijoun/Joga road in Abeokuta.

Following an investigation and recommendation, Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, sanctioned the release of the bullion van and money to Bankers Warehouse and Access Bank on compassionate grounds.

The Area Controller further mentioned the arrest and charging of three suspects connected to the crime.

Alade said, “On 22 April 2022, Officers and Men of Joint Border Patrol Team at the Olorunda axis of Ogun State, intercepted the used Bullion Van with Reg. No. FKY 993 BZ found to have concealed some bags of foreign parboiled rice and N24,489,500.00, along the Sokoto-ljoun/Joga road, Abeokuta axis of Ogun State.“

The foreign parboiled rice which were 12 bags of 50kg each were carefully concealed in the said vehicle.

“Consequently, the said vehicle and the items were conveyed to the Customs House, Abeokuta for safekeeping. After conducting examination on the vehicle, the said amount of money was discovered and deposited at Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Abeokuta branch for safekeeping.“

The vehicle was detained while the rice was converted to seizure in line with Section 168 of Nigeria Customs Service Act, 2023.

“In connection to the above seizures, three suspects were arrested, detained, granted administrative bail and subsequently charged to court for aiding smuggling.

“In a bid to retrieve the detained Bullion Van and the money, the Bankers Warehouse Ltd and Access Bank wrote an appeal letter to the Comptroller General of Customs for release on compassionate ground.

“Based on the outcome of investigation and recommendations of the Investigation Unit of the Nigeria Customs Service, the Comptroller General of Customs granted an approval for the release of the detained van and the money in line with the provision of Section 248 (1) and (2) of NCS Act, 2023.”

The Area Controller said the customs would not relent in its effort in fighting smuggling and other criminality in the state.

He disclosed that the command generated a total of N21.657billion as revenue for year 2023.

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