No fewer than three suspected smugglers have been reported dead and an officer of the Nigeria Customs Service wounded, as the NCS clashed with smugglers at Iseyin, Ogun State.
This was contained in a statement on Friday by the Public Relations Officer of the Federal Operations Unit Zone(A), Theophilus Duniya.
According to him, the ugly incident happened on Thursday when the officers, who were on their lawful duty, tried to prevent the smuggling of foreign rice.
The statement reads, “At about 1500 hours on Thursday, May 13, 2021, some daredevil smugglers mobilised with the help of some thugs and attacked a patrol team serving with FOU Zone A, who were on lawful duty at Iseyin.
“The officers, who were on routine patrol, intercepted two Nissan Pathfinder SUV vehicles fully loaded with smuggled, foreign parboiled rice at Iseyin. Sequel to the interception, the officers were attacked by a mob mobilised by the smugglers.”
Duniya explained that the smugglers attempted to abduct an officer with his rifle before the timely intervention of his colleagues, which led to the casualties.
“The mob attacked the officers with dangerous weapons, which led to the infliction of serious injuries on two officers. In an attempt to abduct one of the officers that was brutally attacked; (he) sustained deep cuts on his head and other parts of his body.
“The assailants had taken the injured officer with his rifle before his team members, who acted in self defence, shot at his suspected abductors. This led to the deaths of three of them before the (officer) was rescued and taken for immediate medical attention,” the customs PRO stated.
The officers successfully evacuated the intercepted smuggled rice, even as the injured officers are currently receiving treatment, Duniya added.
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