Customs Battle Cross-Border Smugglers, Seize 81,425 Litres Of Petrol In Lagos
Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd)
Operatives of the Federal Operations Unit, Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service, on Saturday morning engaged suspected smugglers of petroleum products in a shootout in Badagry, Lagos State.
At the end of the operation, the Customs officers recovered about 81,425 litres of petrol allegedly being smuggled to the neighbouring Benin Republic.
It was learnt that the smugglers opened fire when they sighted the Customs officers who had been on their trail.
Confirming the seizure, the Acting Controller in charge of FOU Zine A, Hussein Kehinde Ejibunu, said the officers chased the smugglers into the creek despite being shot at severally by the suspected smugglers during the all-night operation which lasted till the wee hours of Saturday.
Ejibunu, who briefed reporters on the seizures which were packed in plastic jerrycans and sacks, said the suspected smugglers used locally made guns to shoot at the Customs officers.
Deputy Comptroller Ejibunu described perpetrators of trans border fuel smuggling as saboteurs who must be stopped as they don’t mean well to the country.
He said “The seizure is as a result of serious intelligence. We have been monitoring them since last week, and the information came to me that some people are using sacks to smuggle petroleum products out of Nigeria.
“We put a tab on them and their cup became full yesterday. And what baffles me is the manner of loading, which I consider highly ingenious.
“The only difference in this new one is that they used sacks to conceal the product and put them close to a creek, from where they will be ferried out.
“They fired their dane guns a few times and ran away, and since it was their terrain, they knew all the nooks and crannies to use for escape. We took possession because I moved in with 18 Hilux vehicles loaded with officers who were armed to the teeth because I was ready and knew what could come up,” he said.