Attack: Ogun Customs dares Smugglers, records massive seizures
By Silas Onuoha
The Ogun Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has recorded massive seizures within Idiroko axis, the border community between Nigeria and Republic of Benin, notwithstanding attack by smugglers while on anti-smuggling duty along their operational domain.
Financial Business & Maritime News learnt this at the press briefing, held at Idiroko by the Command, yesterday.
The officers on duty who repelled the attack intercepted various prohibited items, which include eight tokunbo vehicles, 1, 479 bags of foreign rice, 78 gallons of vegetable oil, nine vehicles used as means of coneying the items and motorcyles (popularly known as Okada), estimated at the Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N84million.
Addressing Journalists behind the Customs patrol vehicle seriously damaged by smugglers during the attack, the Customs Area Controller (CAC) of the Command, Comptroller Sani Madugu, said his Command must continue to implement government’s policy without any fear of intimidation by un-repentant smugglers in the area.
The CAC said, “They attacked four of our officers on duty and injured them. Two out of the four are currently taking treatment in the hospital but we are battle-ready for smugglers. We must continue to carryout our statutory duties notwithstanding the antics of smugglers, who are working against government’s effort to growth the economy”.
He pointed out: “CGC Hameed Ali and the top Customs management have equipped us adequately for the job, therefore, we will continue to be focused on our duties without any fear of intimidation by economic saboteurs.”
Responding to question on the huge seizures, mostly rice, made within few days, he said, “Seizing rice at Idiroko is like drinking water. Infact, we seize rice every day here, as you can see rice everywhere in our premises. After this, we will transfer them to our warehouse.”
On whether any arrest was made during the attack, Comptroller Madugu explained, “It happened at a community and we were being careful. We got intelligence signal that a white new Toyota Hilux smuggled into the country from Republic of Benin was kept in a village within the border route. Immediately our officers got there to recover the smuggled vehicle, the smugglers on sighting them, began hurling stones and other dangerous objects at them, and in the process, they injured four of our men. We did not record any casuality because our officers didn’t fight back”.