Customs, military operatives wounded as smugglers resist evacuation of seized rice

Three officers from the Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and a soldier sustained gunshot wounds as hoodlums working with smugglers tried to resist the evacuation of seized items.

The officers, acting on intelligence, had intercepted six vehicles laden with foreign parboiled rice along the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway at about 6am Tuesday and were about moving them to the customs warehouse when the smugglers attacked them.

At that point, according to the Public Relations Officer, Theophilus Duniya, “some armed hoodlums working with the smugglers swiftly mobilised and attacked our officers in their bid to prevent the seizure from being taken away.

“In the crossfire that ensued, our operatives overpowered them and were able to evacuate three of the intercepted vehicles to the warehouse.”

However, “three customs officers and a soldier sustained some bullet injuries from the attack. The wounded officers are currently receiving treatment at our medical facility, while further investigation has commenced to bring the perpetrators of the attack to book.”

Following the attack, the Ag. Controller, DC Usman Yahaya, has expressed concern about the continued attack and injuries inflicted on officers on legitimate duties. According to him, the incident was totally avoidable if only the youths were patriotic enough to know that the officers were just performing their lawful duties. 

He urged them to reject being used by economic saboteurs to confront customs operatives in their lawful duties, while thanking the law-abiding citizens who have been supporting the agency’s operations.

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