Metro

Stray bullet hits civilian as Customs, rice smugglers engage in gun duel in Ogun

OGUN, Nigeria – Men of the Nigerian Customs Service and suspected smugglers engage in a gun battle at Obada-Idiemi along Imeko-Afon area of Ogun state on Monday.

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OgeneAfrican gathered that a yet-to-be-identified man was hit by a stray bullet during the exchange.

It was further gathered that the clash occurred when suspected smugglers reportedly attacked a joint task force of the Nigerian Army and Officers of the Nigeria Customs Service in the state.

The Public Relations Officer of NCS, Abdullahi Maiwada, disclosed this in a statement made available to newsmen in Abeokuta, on Monday.

Maiwadah said the hoodlums suspected to be in possession of some smuggled goods attacked members of the joint task force when they stormed their hideout.

He said some Customs officers were attacked by suspected smugglers when they went to burst their hideout.

According to Maiwadah, the hoodlums started shooting at the joint task force when they were about evacuating the smuggled goods from the hideout.

He further said one of the youths who was assisting the Customs officers was shot during the attack.

The NCS PRO also said two vehicles attached to the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Customs Service respectively were pelted with bullets.

He said one suspect has been arrested while the injured victim had been rushed to the hospital and was responding to treatment.

The statement read,

” The team gallantly responded to the aggression and succeeded in evacuating one hundred and ten (110) bags of smuggled parboiled rice of 50kg each and arrested one suspect in connection with the incident and is currently undergoing interrogation.”

It added,

“At 0230hours of Monday 17th February 2020, Officers and Men of Nigeria Customs Service Ogun I Command supported by personnel of the Nigerian Army on patrol, (based on credible intelligence) identified a hideout used by unscrupulous elements to stockpile smuggled rice and other prohibited items.

“In an effort to evacuate the ‘uncustomed’ goods from the scene, some daredevil criminals shot sporadically at Officers.

“In the melee that ensued, one patriotic youth who was assisting the team in the evacuation of the seized items was hit by a stray bullet and immediately rushed to the hospital where he is currently receiving medical attention.

“Furthermore, two official vehicles attached to the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Customs Service respectively were equally pelted with bullets.

“Similarly, the CAC Special Taskforce led by ASC I M Lawal made another discovery of new antics being employed by smugglers to beat ‘the eagle eyes’ of Officers and Men of the Command.

“Large quantity of Smuggled rice which were carefully concealed in a Volvo truck with Chasis number: YB1E6A2A2JB420916 and registration number: FFF–897 ZC (Ogun state) was criminally disguised as Cassava Flour (White Elubo), Fufu and Maize.

“Further examination revealed four hundred and ten (410) bags of smuggled parboiled rice of 50kg each deceptively packaged in the said vehicle.

“To this end, Comptroller Agbara Michael assured members of the public that the renewed hostilities by armed smugglers will not deter the Command from discharging its statutory responsibilities.

“He emphatically pledged to decisively stop all forms of aggressions applied by smugglers in the interest of social and economic prosperity of our dear country.”

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