A life has been reported lost in a clash between operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and suspected smugglers on Tuesday, at the Toll Gate Area of Sango -Ota, Ogun State.
The smugglers, according to information gathered by Tribune Online ambushed Customs vehicles conveying seized 45 bags of rice and 258 cartons of poultry products said to have been smuggled through the Republic of Benin.
The smugglers irked by the killing of an unidentified man stormed one of the check points of the Customs at Stan along Idi-Iroko and set two vehicles belonging to Customs and a civilian ablaze.
The incident was confirmed by Customs Public Relations Officer, Abdulahi Maiwada, who said that the Federal Operating Unit from Ikeja in Lagos State, intercepted and seized two vehicles loaded with bags of rice and cartons of turkey in Sango area.
Maiwada also confirmed the death of one person but could not ascertained who fired the shot, claiming that the smugglers were armed with dangerous weapons.
He explained that the operatives were ambushed at the Toll Gate area on their way to Customs warehouse in Lagos.
He said that the smugglers drove a Mazda car marked lagos KTU 504 AM and an unregistered Passat car, were transporting 45 bags of rice and 258 cartons of turkey respectively when they were intercepted by the Customs operatives.
The PRO added that the customs operatives were able to transport the seized goods to the warehouse in Ikeja.
Maiwada said, “The clash at the Toll Gate was as a result of some hoodlums we believed to be smugglers, waylaid FOU team on its way to Ikeja and launched a surprise attack on the team. In the melee that ensued, one person was confirmed dead but where the shot that killed him came from is yet to be ascertained.
“The team had intercepted two vehicles loaded with contraband – 45 bags of rice and 258 cartons of turkey and the mob attacked them probably to prevent them from taking the goods to Ikeja. When their ambush fell through, the hoodlums stormed our check point at Atan and set three vehicles belonging to customs and a civilian in the area.”