Smugglers fire at Customs patrol team in Lagos, injure four

Suspected smugglers on Tuesday shot and wounded three officers of the Federal Operations Unit, Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service and a military officer in Lagos State.

The officers, who were on anti-smuggling patrol on the Lagos/Abeokuta road, were attacked and wounded.

Public Relations Officer, Zone A of the unit, Theophilus Duniya, on Tuesday, said three Customs officers and a military officer attached to the patrol team sustained various degrees of bullet wounds.

He stated that the officers had intercepted six vehicles laden with smuggled rice before the hoodlums attacked them.

Duniya said, “Some officers of Federal Operations Unit Zone A of Nigeria Customs Service suffered an attack by hoodlums working with smugglers.
“About 0600 hours of Tuesday, February 2, 2021, officers of the unit, while carrying out their statutory duty of enforcing anti-smuggling laws, acted on intelligence and intercepted six vehicles laden with foreign parboiled rice on Lagos/Abeokuta expressway. However, in the crossfire that ensued, our operatives overpowered them and were able to evacuate three out of the intercepted vehicles to the warehouse.”

According to him, the wounded officers are receiving treatment at Customs medical facility, while further investigation into bringing the perpetrators of the attack to book has commenced.

Duniya, however, stated that the acting Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Usman Yahaya, has warned smugglers against attacking officers of the law on duty of protecting the nation’s economy.

Youths, he added, should desist from being used by economic saboteurs to confront operatives of the service from carrying out their lawful duties.
The acting controller is very concerned about the injuries inflicted on the officers, which were totally avoidable if only the youth were patriotic enough to know that the officers were just performing their lawful duties.

Yahaya warned people with criminal intentions to have a change of heart because officers and men of the unit were well mobilised, backed up by the extant laws, and shall remain resolute at enforcing the laws without fear of intimidation.

Anozie Egole
Anozie Egole
Anozie Egole is a Transport correspondent. He reports Maritime, Aviation and Rail/Road Transport for Financial Street.

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