The Nigerian Custom services has seized about 2.5 tonnes of smuggled plastic rice in the country. They say that the act was perpetuated by dubious business persons.
Haruna Mamudu, Lagos Custom chief, says the smuggled plastic rice were supposedly smuggled into the country to be sold during the festive season. Rice is a Nigerian staple and the meal for special occasions for most Nigerian families.
A total of 102 sacks, each containing 25kg (55lb), was seized. The bags of poisonous rice were estimated to be worth about N597.7 billion
Mamudu says the smuggled plastic rice was branded as “Best Tomato Rice“.
The agency is carrying out investigations to know how much of the contraband has already been sold; as well as the criminals behind the smuggled poison.
They say that it is not clear where the bags of rice were imported from.
However it is worth mentioning that China has been suspected and accused of making fake rice, courtesy of viral videos showing how the fake rice grains were made from plastic bags and packaged for sale.
“It is not clear where the seized sacks came from but rice made from plastic pellets was found in China last year.”
According to Nigerian Customs services, the rice grains looked so real that the officials were tempted not to suspect them. On a closer scrutiny, the smell gave the grains away as no ordinary rice.
A handful of the rice had a chemical odour. Customs officials boiled the rice to discover that they were unusually sticky.
Samples have been sent to laboratories to ascertain the exact components of the fake product.
Nigerians are warned to be exceptionally careful and conscious of what they buy and eat during this festive period.