The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said on Tuesday in Abuja that it has arrested a driver using a Dangote Sugar Refinery truck to facilitate rice smuggling.
Mr Hussein Ejibunu, Commandant of the Customs taskforce that effected the arrest, said two accomplices were arrested alongside the driver at Suleja, Niger State.
He said the truck was carrying 750 bags of 50kg foreign rice valued at about N55.5 million from Ilorin to Abuja when it was intercepted at about 2 a.m. on Saturday.
He said investigation was on-going to unravel the owner of the rice and the person who would have received the consignment and assured that they would be prosecuted.
“As you can see, Dangote trailer was used to carry these bags of rice.
“The Dangote Group of Companies adds economic advantage to the country; it does not engage in smuggling.
“Our preliminary investigation shows that it is the driver who decided to use the trailer to carry the smuggled rice.
“Dangote is a multinational company which works towards uplifting Nigeria. Obviously the driver has ulterior motive. We shall fish out the owner of the rice by the time we conclude investigation,’’ Ejibunu said.
Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Rislan Jafaru, the truck driver claimed that he didn’t know what he was carrying in the truck until he was arrested.
Jafaru claimed that he was very tired when he was approached to carry the goods from Ilorin to Abuja not knowing that it was smuggled rice.