By Chidubem Anthony
Two officials of the Ogun State Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) were seriously injured while three others sustained various degrees of minor injuries during an arms confrontation with smugglers.
The command had on the 6th of this month lost an officer to machete wounds sustained from smugglers who ambushed the team on patrol after it burst their hidden vans of smuggled rice.
However, at about noon on Monday, some smugglers and their accomplices ganged up against an anti-smuggling team at Owode, Yewa community of Ogun State. The officers had gone on an operation following discovery that a place of worship and some houses nearby had been stocked with suspected smuggled rice.
According to a statement by the Ogun Customs Area Command Public Relations Officer, Abdullahi Aliyu Maiwada, the team faced stiff resistance from some armed criminals, who seriously injured two officers and inflicted minor injuries on other members of the team.
They further destroyed the team’s official patrol vehicles. The encounter led to exchange of fire between the officers and smugglers with their accomplices, before the team beat a tactical withdrawal.
Unfortunately, the hoodlums took the laws into their hands by barricading the main road leading to Idiroko, scouting for customs officials to attack, the statement added. They were also battling with law enforcement agencies to gain access to customs formations for further confrontation, Maiwada stated.The command commended the patriotic roles of sister-agencies and law-abiding citizens, who have been assisting it achieve its lawful duty of revenue collection and suppression of smuggling within its jurisdiction. It further resolved to continue the anti-smuggling crusade against all odds.