Officials of the Nigeria Customs Service stormed markets in Lagos in search of smuggled rice and seized up to six trailer load of rice from shops at the Iddo Railway Terminus.
Meanwhile the rice dealers said that they bought the rice from people who brought them into the markets and had no way of knowing whether it was smuggled or not.
According to the source:
“The value of rice seized from her shop is over N60m and she took a loan from the bank for the business,” one of the dealers, who pleaded anonymity, told our correspondent.
The source said, “They swooped on the markets in the afternoon, brandishing guns. They locked up the shops and went away, only to come back in the middle of the night, around 2am to break into the shops and cart away all the bags of rice they found there. They came back to cart away more rice.
“Women are the ones selling in the markets, the Customs are supposed to be at the borders to prevent smuggled rice from coming into the country, but they allowed the rice to come in, only to come harassing traders with guns. We are pleading with them to return the rice to the traders.”