Produce Officers Impound 3 Tons Of Cocoa From Smugglers

March 18, 2013

Produce- officers manning the control post at Eporo-Ekiti near Ekiti and Ondo States boundary have intercepted and impounded three tons of cocoa from a band of smugglers attempting to smuggle the cash crop out of the state.

The State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr. Babajide Arowosafe who made this known in Ado-Ekiti, frowned at the incessant cases of smuggling of farm produce out of the state.

Reiterating the Fayemi led administration’s zero tolerance for smuggling and other sharp practices in the agricultural sector, Mr. Arowosafe said the state government is working round the clock to block all revenue leakages in the state.

The Commissioner advised produce traders in the state to be mindful of government’s regulations and laws guiding the conduct of their trade, stressing that anyone caught contravening the law would be prosecuted and made to face the full wrath of the law.

Describing smuggling as illegal, he urged farm produce traders to properly register their businesses, pay their taxes and ensure that their produce are duly graded before conveying them out of the state.

The Director of Produce in the State Ministry of Agric, Mr. Michael Makinde who made an on the spot visit to assess the situation, observed that there had been several reported cases of smuggling in the area.

Narrating how the smugglers were apprehended, the produce officer in the area, Mr. Dada Adeniyi said that they swung into action following a tip off, adding that they actually followed the smugglers from Emure before arresting them at Eporo.

The suspected smuggler (name withheld) who claimed to be a farmer however denied the allegation, claiming that he intended to store the cocoa at Eporo and had no intention of crossing to Ondo state.

The Investigating Police Officers (IPO), Mr. Mathew Ogunsoro who confirmed the arrest of the smugglers said that police action followed reports that the suspects attacked the produce officers with dangerous weapons including iron rods.
He assured that the case would be thoroughly investigated and the suspects would be prosecuted if they are found culpable.

Last modified: March 18, 2013

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