54 drums of smuggled petrol : Customs Officers still in the bush
* Arrests 2 suspects
*Seized petrol worths over N1.9 million – Says Comptroller Uba
By Udeme Clement :
The Customs Officers with Joint Border Operatiions, sector -3, covering Kwara State axis are still combing the bush-paths, after the team intercepted 54 drums of smuggled petrol loaded in mini- trucks.
Our correspondent learnt that their opational strategy in the bush paths last night yielded positive results, as the officers arrested two suspects in connection with the seized petrol.
The Coordinator of the team, Comptroller Mohammed Uba, disclosed that the smuggled petrol was intercepted along Babanna border in Niger State.
He further revealed that the smuggled fuel worths over N1.9million in Duty Paid Value, DPV.
Comptroller Uba hinted, “At about 112100A, credible intelligence indicated activities of smugglers along Kabe -Karenji road.
“A covert patrol was sent out, led by the team leaders to lay ambush. At about 120730A, the team intercepted two Mitsubishi canter trucks laden with drums of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, commonly known as petrol.”
He informed, “Registration number of the first truck is XA 241 WEL; Chassis number is FE437E- 545226. The truck carried 26 drums of PMS, fully loaded.
“Registration number of the second truck is XC 166 SUL, with Chassis number XM99A-17FPVC117897. It conveyed 30 drums of PMS, but two drums were empty.”
He continued, “The driver ran into the bush on sighting our operatives. The former vehicle was faulty and all efforts made to bring it down to Customs House at Babanna proved abortive due to the bad terrain and mechanical faults.
“The vehicle was handed over to Marami Police Outpost for safe keeping, about 5km to Babanna, pending when a patrol team with mechanics will recover it.
“A hand over note was signed to that effect. Two of the drums were damaged and leaked in the process. The total number of seized petrol drums were 54 and two empty drums”.
Apparently, by now smugglers operating within Kwara State will be counting their losses, because Comptroller Uba is not a Customs Officer to play games with.
He is experienced and highly knowledgeable enforcement officer, who has mastered the act of chasing smugglers on land, bush-paths, forest, even in the creeks, but he looks very gentle in appearance.