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  • News - South West - Ogun
  • Updated: January 06, 2024

Rice smuggling: Impounded bullion van released by Customs

Rice smuggling: Impounded bullion van released by Customs

A bullion van that was seized in April 2022 after it was used to smuggle rice around border communities of Ogun State has been released.

The release of the van was made known by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Ogun Area Command II on Friday.

The command said the vehicle was released to its owner, Bankers Warehouse Limited.

It also disclosed that the sum of N24,489,500 belonging to Access Bank PLC which the bullion van was also moving at the time it was seized was returned to the bank.

The Controller, Ogun Area II Command, Bisi Alade, who shared this on Friday while briefing journalists in Abeokuta said the command generated the sum of N2,042,846,429 in November 2023.

“On April 22, 2022, officers and men of the joint border patrol team at the Olorunda axis of Ogun State intercepted the used bullion van, with registration no. FKY 993 BZ was found to have concealed some bags of foreign parboiled rice and N24,489,500.00, along the Sokoto-Ijoun/Joga Road, Abeokuta axis of Ogun State.

“The foreign parboiled rice in 12 bags of 50kg each was carefully concealed in the said vehicle. Consequently, the said vehicle and the items were conveyed to the Customs House, Abeokuta, for safekeeping.

“After examining the vehicle, the said amount of money was discovered and deposited at the Central Bank of Nigeria, Abeokuta branch, for safekeeping. The vehicle was detained while the rice was converted to seizure in line with Section 168 of the 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.

“Based on the outcome of the investigation and recommendations of the investigation unit of the Nigeria Customs Service, the CGC approved the release of the detained van and the money in line with the provision of Section 248 (1) and (2) of NCS Act, 2023.”

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