THE Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has warned Nigerians ahead of the yuletide that 119 bags of plastic rice have already left the warehouse where 102 bags of the commodity were recently seized.
Speaking to Tribune Online exclusively in his office in Lagos on Thursday, the Spokesman of the unit, Jerry Attah, stated that after thorough interrogation, the suspect that was arrested revealed that the stock he had was actually 221 bags of plastic rice.
According to him, “After thorough interrogation, the suspect told us that all the bags of rice in the warehouse was initially 221. He then said he had sold 119 of the bags of plastic rice before he was arrested.
“It was one of the recipients of the rice that informed us of the kind of rice he got from the warehouse. However, when we stormed the warehouse and arrested the suspect, he had 102 bags of plastic rice remaining in the warehouse, having sold 119.
“So, we believe other unsuspicious Nigerians have bought rice from that same warehouse, waiting for the yuletide to come before they start consuming eat.
“We will just like to pass this information across as a warning that people should be careful with the kind of rice they consume this yuletide. 119 bags of the hazardous rice had already left the warehouse before we got there. Where they are, we cannot say.
“But we are very sure those rice are in the homes of some unsuspecting Nigerians. So people should watch out and study the kind of rice they consume this yuletide.”
When asked what people should look out for to differentiate original rice from the plastic rice, he explained that, “When we boiled the rice, it was sticky in boiled water. However, outside boiled water, there is no difference between the plastic rice and the original rice. So people should be very careful this yuletide to avoid consuming what could be dangerous to their health.”
It would be recalled that the Customs had seized 102 bags of plastic rice in a warehouse in Lagos recently after months of speculation that plastic rice are being imported into the country from the Asia.