Akwa Ibom: Customs seize over 1000 bags of rice, threaten to burndown smugglers’ warehouses

The Nigeria Customs Service has seized no fewer than 1000 bags of contraband rice smuggled into Mbo local government area of Akwa Ibom state.

The sector coordinator in charge of South-South and South-East, Comptroller Shehu Abubakar, disclosed this while conducting raid in a Joint Task Force, Boarder Drill Operations, following an intelligence at Uyenhe community.

The Joint Task Force, Boarder Drill Operations comprised Nigeria Customs Service, Army, Immigration Service, Airforce, DSS and the Nigeria Police Force.

Abubakar threatened to burndown smugglers’ warehouses in the area if they remain adamant, and continue in the illegal businesses.

He said the exercise was in accordance with the federal government’s decision to grow the local economy and to free the country from substandard goods.

The sector coordinator who said it was the first time to raid the area after many years, revealed that smugglers threatened to attack any security agency who dare to disrupt their operations.

He said if the smugglers continue in the illegitimate trade, the paramilitary would deploy technologies like drones and other devices to chakemate their activities.

Abubakar warned people in the coastal community not to aid the smuggling activities, adding that the smugglers might be smuggling weapons and other dangerous equipment that may turn out to be destructive to them.

“We are here at Uyenhe community in Mbo local government area of Akwa Ibom state to check and seize products smuggled into this community.

“This is the first time security agencies visit this after so many years of smuggling activities in the area. They threaten to attack any security agency that may want to visit the area.

“They should rather start embarking on legimate trade, because if we come back and find out that they are still in the line of the illigal business, we will have no option than to burndown their make shift houses,” he said.

Abubakar thanked the component commanders for their cooperation in the exercise to ensure safe environment.

Blueprint Correspondent reports over four warehouses and some private residents were raided, and no arrest was made as the smugglers were not found during the exercise.

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