Smugglers attack Customs operatives, injure three

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Western Marine Command, Lagos yesterday said it would track down some smugglers who left three of its men seriously injured after seizing their rice-laden boat at Bawe Creek in Badagry.

The Customs Area Controller, Umar Yusuf, gave the assurance while conducting newsmen round the items seized from the smugglers, including a boat.

Yusuf said the officers (names withheld) were among those attacked by the smugglers while on duty on June 12.

He, however, said the smugglers bowed to the superior firepower of his men as they abandoned their weapons and fled the scene.

“The smugglers opened fire, but the gallant officers were able to subdue them and they fled, leaving their machetes and guns.

“They did not want my officers to come back alive, but God intervened and the officers fought a good fight.

“We are ensuring that we track down the smugglers wherever they are and we will do so squarely because we are equal to the task,” Yusuf said.

The boat, laden with about 2, 000 bags of rice was seized along with a locally made gun, one shot gun, four knives and a machete.

Some seized expired drugs, condensed milk, and secondhand clothes were destroyed on the orders of the controller.

The customs boss warned smugglers and criminals operating on the waterways to desist forthwith or face the command’s wrath.

Yusuf said the command was set to deploy its seagoing boats – the Customs Pride and Group of Nine – to boost its operations.

He said officers and men of the command would be exposed to the various marine training courses to enable them to effectively operate the boats.

Yusuf commended the Customs Intelligence Unit for its collaboration in ensuring the success of their surveillance and enforcement jobs.

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