The Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has again impounded 22 new vehicles comprising 19 Hilux pick-ups, two Izuzu Dmax jeeps and one Toyota land cruiser GRX 2014 model along Ikoyi/Victoria Island axis in Lagos.
The vehicles were valued at N186.5million.
Acting Controller of the Unit, Deputy Comptroller Turaki Usman said in a statement sent to SHIPS & PORTS DAILY that the seizure was as a result of intelligence gathering which necessitated laying of ambush by operatives of the Unit.
He said his officers trailed the vehicles from an unapproved route but could not intercept them there because of the possibility of recording casualties.
“As professionals with the requisite training and competence, the unit could not afford to embark on aggressive confrontation with the smugglers particularly in densely populated areas, hence the need to trail them to a safe place.
“Despite these precautionary measures, the smugglers engaged our operatives in a gun duel, but were overpowered by the superior fire powers of our operatives but interestingly there were no casualties,” he said.
The Controller attributed the seizure to the resilience, commitment and dedication of all officers and men of the Unit, particularly the seizing officers.
While expressing his appreciation to the Customs Comptroller-General and his management team for their support in terms of logistics, provision of arms and ammunition and functional patrol vehicles, Turaki promised to sustain the tempo with a view to repositioning the unit for greater efficiency.