Ogun Customs releases detained bullion van, N24.5m Intercepted For Smuggling Rice

Comptroller Bisi Alade

The Nigeria Customs Service, Ogun State Area II Command, announced the release of a detained Bullion Van previously apprehended for attempting to smuggle bags of foreign parboiled rice into the country.

The bullion van, registered as FKJ 993 BZ, detained at the Customs’ House in Abeokuta on 22 April 2022 and was released on Friday. 

The van was intercepted while carrying a monetary amount of N24,489,500 from a branch in the border region to the Abeokuta headquarters, but it diverted its course to engage in smuggling bags of rice.
Comptroller Alade releasing the bullion van to the warehouse limited representative, Benedict Okondu

The Customs Area Controller, Olusola Alade disclosed this on Friday during a press conference in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital.

Alade said that the vehicle which belong to Warehouse Ltd, and the money, associated with Access Bank PLC Abeokuta Branch, were detained by the Joint Border Patrol Team for concealing foreign parboiled rice.

Alade explained that the officers intercepted the Bullion Van along the Sokoto-Ijoun/Joga road, Abeokuta axis of Ogun State on April 22, 2022.
According to him" After conducting examination on the vehicle, the said amount of money was discovered and deposited at 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 Nigeria Customs Service Act, 2023. 
Comptroller Bisi Alade with the  CBN branch head Malik Ademola  presenting the fund to  Access Bank Zonal Head South West, Dare Adetosoye 

"In connection to the above seizures, 3 suspects were arrested, detained, granted bail and subsequently charged to Court for aiding smuggling.

"In a bid to retrieve the detained Bullion Van and the money, the Bankers Warehouse Ltd and Access Bank wrote an appeal letter to the CGC for release on compassionate ground.

"Based on the outcome of investigation and recommendations of the Investigation Unit of the Nigeria Customs Service, the CGC granted an approval for the release of the detained Van and the Money in line with the provision of section 248 (1) and (2) of NCS Act, 2023. "

Meanwhile, the assistant Project Manager at Bankers Warehouse Limited Benedict Okondu extended gratitude to the Nigerian Customs Service on behalf of the company for the timely release of a van. 

Benedict expressed regret over an incident where some staff deviated from the standard operating procedure, tarnishing the company's reputation. 

He assured disciplinary measures for those involved adding that Bankers Warehouse vows to uphold its commitment to compliance, pledging that such incidents will be prevented in the future.
Comptroller Alade also shared the revenue achievements of the Ogun II Command, revealing a total revenue of Two-Billion, Forty-two Million, Eight-Hundred and Forty-six Thousand Four Hundred and Twenty-Nine Naira, Fifty-Seven Kobo (2,042,846,429.57) for November 2023. 

The command pledges to continue deploying intelligence, reconnaissance, effective monitoring, and stakeholder engagement in their operations.

Mrs. Adeola Adekanbi the Access Bank representative, affirmed during her visit to the Central Bank of Nigeria to collect the funds that the money remains secure and intact.

The management of Nigerian customs service also decorated eighteen senior officers  with new ranks at the command.

Addressing the newly promoted officers, Comptroller Alade emphasized the importance of maintaining integrity and dedication in their roles. 
Comptroller Alade decorating the newly promoted officers

He cautioned them against using their new ranks as a license to exploit others, urging the officers to focus on performing well in their duties.

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