By Ado Hassan, Sokoto
Sokoto Area Command of the Ngerian Customs Service(NCS) on Tuesday said it has arrested three suspects with 585 bags of smuggled rice loaded in a petrol tanker with duty value worth N11 million.
Briefing reporters while parading the suspects, the Command Area Controller,Mr Nasiru Ahmed said the items were intercepted around 2 am by a team of customs officers on surveillance along Koko- Yauri road in Kebbi state enroute Suleja.
” We are on the trail of the driver and main suspect who are still at large.
” They deliberately abandoned the Sokoto-Gusau road. We are 100% sure that they have been carrying out this using petrol tankers.
“This is the second time we are making similar arrest of tanker carrying rice heading for Suleja.”
Ahmed said investigation was ongoing to get to the actual suspect with the items.
He said the Area Command was laising with the FCT command to lookout for them. Because they might just be using Suleja as a transit point. We will keep vigilant and mount surveillance to get them arrested.
The Area Controller, however, appealed to those involved in rice smuggling to stop sabotaging the economy noting that the federal government was doing everything possible to encourage rice production especially within the axis of Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara and Niger.
” I am amazed to hear that the smugglers are from these states where government is actively support agriculture with emphasis on rice production”, he said.