The Nigeria Customs Service, Ogun State Area II Command, on Friday, released a bullion van arrested in the Olorunda area in April 2022 for its involvement in the smuggling of foreign rice across the border communities of the state.
The Area Comptroller of the Ogun II Command, Bisi Alade, during a press briefing in his office in the state capital, said the bullion van which was conveying ₦24.489.500.00 cash belonging to a first-generation bank had 12 bags of foreign rice concealed in it.
According to him, three suspects have been arrested, detained, and granted administrative bail and subsequently charged to court for aiding smuggling.
“We gather here today to release the bullion van with registration number FKJ993BZ in our custody. The vehicle belongs to Warehouse Limited and the money belongs to Access Banks PLC Abeokuta branch; both were detained by the officers and men of the joint border patrol team for being used to conceal some foreign parboiled rice of 50 kilogrammes each.
“On 22nd April 2022, officers and men of the joint border patrol team at the Oluranda axis of Ogun State intercepted the bullion van with registration number FKJ993BZ found to have consisted of foreign parboiled rice N24, 489, 500 along the Shokoto-Ido-Doga Road Abeokuta, Ogun State.
“The foreign parboiled rice which was 12 bags was carefully concealed in the vehicle. Consequently, the vehicle and the contents were conveyed to the Customs House Abeokuta for safekeeping. After conducting an examination on the vehicle, the said amount was discovered and deposited at the Central Bank of Nigeria, Abeokuta branch for safekeeping.
“The vehicle was detained in line with Section 168 of the Nigerian 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,” Alade said.
He added that based on investigation and recommendations, the CDC granted approval for the release of the detained van and the money in line with the provision of sections 24, 8, 1and 2 of the Nigerian Customs Service Act 2023.