In a bid to escape with contra-band items, some smugglers operating within Ajilete community in Ogun State have attacked men of Nigeria Customs Services (NCS) Ogun Command and burnt one of the patrol vehicles used as operational tool by the Command.
Sunday Business gathered that the attack, which took place at Ajilete Customs check-point along Idiroko road, Yewa South Local Government Area, Ogun State , resulted into the death of one of the smugglers from injury sustained from a re-bounded bullet on the high-way.
The Command Public Relations Officer, Mr. Chike Ngige, narrated the incident: “Our patrol team, precisely at the Ajilete checkpoint, sighted convoy of seven cars suspected to be carrying un-customed goods approaching and attempted to stop them.
The drivers of the vehicles refused to stop, as they drove recklessly, aiming to kill any officer who dared to stop them. One of the officers, in an attempt to demobilise one of the vehicles, aimed and shot at the tyre but the bullet hit the tarred road and re-bounded to hit the driver.
He lost control of his vehicle and ended up in a ditch. Officers rushed to the scene and their suspicion was confirmed as the vehicles actually carried frozen poultry products, which are banned by law from being imported into the country. The officers also observed that the smuggler had slumped inside his vehicle.
“While officers tried to bring out the driver for immediate medical attention, as well as secure the seizure with the means of conveyance, a mob, armed with dangerous weapons like cutlasses, dane guns, broken bottles with charms attacked them ferociously .
In the melee, an official Land-Rover vehicle at the checkpoint was burnt. The officer who allegedly fired the shot was beaten and wounded, while the smuggler was later reported dead from the injury sustained from the re-bounded bullet.
“Our discreet investigation to ascertain the cause of incessant attacks on Customs officers, particularly at the Ajilete checkpoint, revealed that smugglers usually adopt this tactic to scare officers off the road, by igniting a violent commotion in order to have an unhindered passage of their smuggling business, because they see Ajilete Customs checkpoint as a nightmare for their nefarious smuggling activities”.
He warned smugglers in the community to desist from further violent attacks on Customs officers. “We are also appealing to the leaders of the communities where Customs officers perform their official duties to advise their children to desist from illegal trades and violent attacks on Customs officers”.
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Smugglers attack Customs, destroy patrol vehicle