By Ajibola Abayomi,
December 16, 2017
Owners of smuggled rice intercepted by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) along the Badagry/ Atan Road have abandoned a driver arrested in connection with the contraband.
However in a related development, the NCS has explained why it had to release the driver, Adams Oghenetega who was caught with 200 bags of foreign rice concealed with maggi and others good on bail.
The driver an employee of GPS Haulage Company had since been sacked by his employers who claimed ignorance of the transaction.
The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Jerry Attah explaned that the driver and other suspects were released on administrative bail while investigations continued.
He added that some of the suspects arrested were driver assistants popularly called motor boys who only took instructions from their bosses but were arrested because the drivers took to their heels.
In the case of Oghenetega, he said the suspect claimed he was asked by the owners of the goods to help them transport the goods along the road and claimed he did not know their office.
He said the driver has been mandated to report to the command at intervals, a directive which he said the suspect has been abiding with.
The owners of the seized goods have since refused to show up even when the suspect made available their phone numbers.
Recall that the importation of rice into the country is prohibited through land borders but only allowed through the sea port.
The 200 bags of rice is among the 13,333 bags of smuggled rice in 17×20 feet trucks recently intercepted by the operations unit of the service at different locations in the zone within the month of November.
Other items nabbed with suspicion that duties were evaded from car marts include 64 luxurious jeeps evacuated from Omole, Lekki and other locations.