The Oyo/Osun Area Command of Nigeria Customs Service on Tuesday said it had arrested a Bullion Van concealed with imported smuggled rice. It said despite the ban on commodity, some Nigerians have now resorted to smuggling the staple food in bullion vans.
The command said it also made some seizures which included 30 fairly used vehicles at different locations in the area.
The Area Controller, Mr Tolutope Ogunkua, who disclosed this to newsmen in Ibadan said that the bullion van was intercepted in the Saki axis of Oyo state.
He said that the arrests would send a serious signal to recalcitrant saboteurs of the Nigeria economy.
Ogunkua said it was worrisome that some Nigerians had remained unrepentant even with the clampdown and the losses they suffered, adding that the command remained unshaken to deal with them. According to him, two persons were apprehended with the bullion van and have since been in the custody and will be charged to court soon.
He said that the command had been on the trail of the particular bullion van which usually went with police escorts. Ogunkua said that the surveillance men of the command had a gun duel with the suspects before they were apprehended. “You will recall that I had reiterated our resolve to increase the revenue profile of the command and to tirelessly reduce the incidence of smuggling.
“In keeping to this promise, the command initiated new anti-smuggling strategies which led to remarkable exploits evidenced in the situation on display today.”
The Customs boss urged well-meaning members of the public, who wished to engage in legitimate business to come forward for verification for trade facilitation and other inquiries. “The recalcitrant ones, who still insist on engaging in illicit business of smuggling, should be well advised that they will not escape the long arm of the law, especially as the yuletide approaches” he said.