Nigeria has confiscated 2.5 tonnes of “plastic rice” smuggled into the country by unscrupulous businessmen, the customs service says.

Lagos customs chief Haruna Mamudu said the fake rice was intended to be sold in markets during the festive season.

He said the rice was very sticky after it was boiled and “only God knows what would have happened” if people ate it.

It is not clear where the seized bags came from but rice made from plastic pellets was found in China last year.

A total of 102 sacks, each containing 25kg, was seized.

Investigations are under way to establish how much of the contraband has already been sold.

The customs official called on “economic saboteurs who see yuletide season as a peak period for their nefarious acts to desist from such illegal” business activity.

Mr Mamudu did not explain how the plastic rice was made but said it had been branded as “Best Tomato Rice”.

Ignore reports of ‘plastic rice’ on market – FDA

Ghana’s Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) last week downplayed reports of the influx of such product on the Ghanaian market.

speaking to Citi News, the Public Relations Officer of the FDA, James Lartey, indicated that the authority’s investigations across the country have shown no trace of such ‘plastic rice’ on the market.

“We went around checking and investigating and up till now, in any sample of the said rice, we are not seeing that the thing is on the market.”

Mr. Lartey suggested the possibility of the allegations emanating from the competitors in the rice retail market, but urged the public to report to the FDA if they indeed come across it.

“We are just appealing to the public, if you have a sample or you have seen somebody selling it, just get a sample, bring it to us or call us and tell us where the product is. We will move immediately and deal with it,” he said.

Source: BBC with additional files from citifmonline.com

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