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Customs releases bullion van, N24.4m confiscated two years ago

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Customs releases bullion van, N24.4m confiscated two years agovan

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Ogun II Area Command has freed a bullion van that was detained on April 22, 2022, for allegedly smuggling 12 bags of imported parboiled rice weighing 50kg apiece into the country.

Bisi Alade, the Ogun II Area Controller, revealed that the bullion van with registration number FKJ 993 BZ and a sum of N24,489,500.00 confiscated with the 12 bags of imported parboiled rice belongs to Warehouse Ltd., while the money belongs to Access Bank PLC Abeokuta Branch when he handed over the van.

Alade revealed that the car and the money were detained by officers and men from the Joint Border Patrol Team for being used to smuggle 50kg of foreign parboiled rice into the nation.

Alade revealed that the car and the money were detained by officers and men from the Joint Border Patrol Team for being used to smuggle 50kg of foreign parboiled rice into the nation.

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

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“Consequently, the said vehicle and the items were conveyed to the Customs House, Abeokuta, for safekeeping. After conducting an examination on the vehicle, the said amount of money was discovered and deposited at the 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 the Nigeria Customs Service Act, 2023.

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

“In a bid to retrieve the detained bullion van and the money, Bankers Warehouse Ltd. and Access Bank wrote an appeal letter to the Controller General of Customs for release on compassionate grounds. Based on the outcome of the investigation and recommendations of the Investigation Unit of the Nigeria Customs Service, the CGC granted approval for the release of the detained van and the money in line with the provisions of Section 248(1) and (2) of the NCS Act, 2023.”

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Alade said that the command generated a total of N21,657 billion in income for the year 2023.

He said, “The command generated a total sum of over N2. 042 billion as revenue only for the month of November 2023, while the total revenue generated for the year 2023 stood at over N21. 657 billion.”

“The service will not relent its efforts in discharging its statutory mandate as empowered by the law. We shall continue to encourage trade, production, and expansion of industrial activities in Ogun State, as well as continue to deploy intelligence for effective monitoring and robust stakeholders’ engagement in our operations.”

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