The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone C, Owerri, has confiscated contraband worth N90 million in Imo.
Mr Kayode Olusemire, the NCS Controller in Imo, made the disclosure while displaying the seized items at the NCS office in Owerri on Tuesday.
He 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 that the items were intercepted enroute Imo from Akwa Ibom and Anambra, saying 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.
“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.” the controller said.
Olusemire further advised consumers to beware of foreign and substandard consumables usually disguised as locally-made and standard, saying that such items posed serious health and safety hazards.