Reports has revealed that about 102 bags of plastic rice with brand name “Beat Tomato Rice’’ also said to have no date of manufacture have been seized by the Federal Operations Unit, Ikeja, of the Nigeria Customs Service.
Comptroller Mohammed Haruna, the Customs Area Controller of F.O.U. made this known to the public on Tuesday in Lagos while having an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria.
More so, he said that the plastic rice was stored for distribution as Yuletide gifts for the public.
Controller Haruna revealed that the commodity was intercepted by officers of the unit arresting a suspect believed to be connected with the commodity at the point of seizure on Monday, along Ikeja area.
“Before now, I thought it was a rumour that the plastic rice is all over the country but with this seizure, I have been totally convinced that such rice exists.
“We have done the preliminary analysis on the plastic rice. After boiling, it was sticky and only God knows what would have happened if people consumed it.
“I advise those economic saboteurs who see Yuletide season as a peak period for nefarious acts to desist from such illegal business.
“The unit has decided other operational modalities that will give them a run for their monies and count their losses,” NAN quoted the controller as saying.
Haruna appreciated well-meaning Nigerians who provided the service with prompt information that led to the discovery of the bags of plastic rice.
He described smuggling as a global phenomenon, adding that such act could not be curbed entirely but could be brought to its barest minimum.
He, however, advised the media to educate the public on the existence of plastic rice adding that it was no longer a rumour but a reality that should be known by everyone.
Meanwhile, the Controller assured Nigerians that the distribution point of the particular plastic rice seized by the unit had been blocked with immediate effect.
Furthermore, he said that investigation was still ongoing.
The unit will according to the controller hand over the plastic rice to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control for proper investigation and to enhance a better achievement.