Hoodlums, suspected to be smugglers, have reportedly attacked officials of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit, Zone C, Owerri, Imo State, who were escorting seized containers of smuggled wine from Port Harcourt to their Owerri Warehouse.
The attackers, who invaded the Owerri Industrial Layout recently were, however, said to have been contained without any casualty.
According to the controller of the FOU Zone C, Kayode Olusemire, the attackers were apparently linked to owners of the contraband goods that were impounded and were obviously working for those he called economic saboteurs still involved in smuggling banned products.
He said that the raid showed how desperate smugglers have become since the unit’s intensified efforts to shut down their smuggling routes.
“This will not deter us, but what they should know is that a section of the Customs and Extant Management Act empowered us to defend ourselves against aggression and we will not fail to do so if we come under threat like this one,” he said.
Olusemire, who took newsmen round some of the latest seizures, said that the operative impounded three containers loaded with 5,040 cartons of foreign non-alcoholic drinks, but falsely declared as salt and two containers of clothes, pants and brassieres falsely declared as agricultural pressure sprayer.
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