Smugglers go on rampage in Ogun, burn Customs, Immigration vehicles

Irate smugglers have burned down properties belonging to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) following the killing of a suspected smuggler identified as Tunde Alabe by operatives of the Joint Border Drill stationed at Oja-Odan area of Ilaro, Ogun State during an exchange of gunfire.

In a statement signed on Friday and made available to newsmen by the spokesman of the Ogun 1 Command of the NCS, Hammed Bukoye Oloyede, the exchange of gunfire ensued after suspected smugglers resisted the arrest and seizure of several kegs of 25 litres of Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMs) otherwise known as petrol by operatives of the Joint Border Drill in Ilaro.

According to the statement, “On the 10th of February, 2021 at about 17:23hours, the Joint Border Drill Operatives stationed at Olajogun in Oja-Odan area of Ilaro intercepted several kegs of 25 litres capacity of Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) being smuggled out of Nigeria.

“In an attempt to seize the said petroleum products obviously in contravention with schedule 6 of the Common External Tariff, some smugglers armed with assorted dangerous weapons such as cutlasses, guns and charms unleashed a deadly attack against lawful officers leading to a crossfire. In the ensuing exchange of gunfire between smugglers and the patrol team, one Tunde Alabe (male), a native of Ohunbe community also involved in the attack, sustained a gun injury leading to his untimely death.

“This unfortunate incident led to the blockage of Oja-Odan/Obelle road by armed smugglers and hoodlums. They further advanced their hostilities by burning down all Customs checkpoints and that of sister security agencies from Olajogun to Hanger and Ohunbe areas of Ogun state. 

“As at the time of writing this report, the properties and items destroyed by the smugglers and hoodlums include two Customs patrol Toyota Hilux; one patrol Toyota Hilux belonging to the Nigerian Immigration Service; one Mercedes Benz SUV; one Peugeot 206; four motorcycles belonging to the Nigerian Immigration Service; original credentials and other documents belonging to two Customs personnel and two buildings including many other patrol points.

“To this end, the Customs Area Controller, Compt. Peter Chado Kolo has vowed to thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the unfortunate incident and promised to bring the perpetrators of this evil act to book. 

“He further appealed to traditional rulers, opinion moulders and eminent personalities on the need to dissuade our teeming youths from seeing smuggling as a means of livelihood.”

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