Rice smugglers in Nigeria have devised a new method of importation, by packaging the commodity in the form of a corpse. The smugglers are now disguising bags of rice as corpses and transporting them in an ambulance.
Confirming the recent trend, Mr Selechang Taupyen, spokesperson for the Nigerian Customs Service, said on Thursday it had seized 11 bags of imported rice wrapped as a corpse.
Taupyen said that the smugglers used an ambulance for their operation in an attempt to deceive unsuspecting officials.
He also confirmed that one Moses Degbogbahun had been arrested over the incident. “The smuggler concealed the smuggled bags of rice in a Volvo ambulance and he was arrested in the coastal town of Badagry. The mobile patrol team led by Chief Superintendent of Customs M. Ozah, noted the frequent movement of the ambulance and this aroused curiosity of the team and the vehicle was stopped for proper examination.
“During the examination, 11 bags of imported rice were discovered and they were carefully arranged and wrapped as a corpse, a development they thought was alarming.
The suspect is still undergoing investigation for possible prosecution,’’ he said. Taupyen has warned smugglers to desist from such behaviour, adding that all smuggling antics along the borders would not go undetected by its officers and men on patrol.