By Eguono Odjegba
Barely two weeks after smugglers killed an operative and seriously injured another attached to the Ogun Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, the dare devil elements last week attacked an anti-smuggling team from the Command, at a hideout in Owode (Yewa) Community, where vehicles laden with suspected smuggled rice had taken temporary cover.
The smugglers and their accomplices, however, engaged the Customs operatives in exchange of gun fire, while Customs operatives attempted to beat a retreat which the smugglers aborted, blocking the main road leading from the place to Idiroko attacking the officers, leaving two seriously injured and damaging some official patrol vehicles during the rampage.
However, Vanguard Maritime Report learnt that the Customs officers succeeded in arresting some of the smuggled goods said to have been loaded in various vehicles and hidden in a church premises and nearby houses in the community.
A statement released by the Command Public Relations Officer, Abdullahi Maiwada reads, “At about 1200hours of Monday afternoon (21st January, 2019), some smugglers and their accomplices gang-up against an Anti-smuggling Team from discharging its legitimate functions at Owode (Yewa) community.
“The Officers who went on an Operation to save Nigerian economy from the mayhem of smugglers who stocked a place of worship and some houses nearby with rice suspected to have been smuggled into Nigeria. The team faced stiff resistance from some armed criminals inflicting serious injuries on two officers and minor injuries on other members of the team, and further destroyed official patrol vehicles.
“The encounter led to exchange of fire between officers and smugglers with their accomplices. For peace to reign, the team resorted to tactical withdrawal. However, the hoodlums took law into their hands by barricading the main road leading to Idiroko, scouting for Customs Officers to attack. They are also battling with law enforcement agencies to gain access to Customs formations for further confrontation”.