Five Officers Missing as Smugglers Attack Customs in Ogun, Torch Patrol Van

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Eromosele Abiodun
A few days after vehicle dealers attacked officers of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in Kaduna, burning down their patrol van, officers of the service once again came under attack yesterday in the hands of daredevil smugglers in Ogun State.

 In the attack at the Toll-gate end of Lagos-Abeokuta expressway, operational vehicle of the service was damaged and burnt beyond recognition.
One of the affected officers who said he escaped death, said about five of his colleagues are missing in action.

Narrating his ordeal, the officer who did not want his name mentioned for security reasons, said they were on a routine patrol when they accosted and seized three vehicles laden with frozen chickens and foreign parboiled rice.

 According to him, “We were on a routine patrol when we saw three vehicles filled with poultry products and foreign parboiled rice. We impounded the vehicles, and on our way to the office, we were attacked by smugglers, and a vehicle with frozen chickens which one of our officer was driving was attacked and freed.”
He said his colleague who drove the contraband-laden vehicle had to take refuge at the nearest police station when he was attacked.

Explaining further on how the NCS vehicle was burnt, he said: “After taking the contraband to the office, the CG compliance team was on patrol when they ran into the mob and were attacked.”
He disclosed also that the officers who had no fore knowledge of the earlier incident were attacked and their vehicles burnt.

“The officers who were attacked were on routine patrol when they ran into the mob, they were not the first crop of officers who impounded the frozen poultry products and foreign rice,” he said.
The source however disclosed that no one knows the whereabouts of the officers.

When contacted, the Public Relations Officer, Jerry Attah, confirmed the attack on Customs officers.
Attah said: “Our officers were ambushed and attacked on their way to the office after seizing frozen chickens and imported rice.”

 He also confirmed that a Customs patrol vehicle was burnt and officers were mobbed.
“The CG compliance team was on a routine patrol and they ran into the mob who attacked and burnt their patrol van. Presently, we don’t know the status of the officers,” he added.

 Attah also stated that the remaining two vehicles laden with rice and frozen foods are in their custody.
“Two out of three vehicles laden with rice and vehicles chicken are in our custody. One Mazda 626 with registration number KTU504AL and Volkswagen with no plate number is presently in our warehouse,” he added.