Customs Officer dies in battle over smuggled rice

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The Nigerian Customs Service has lost one of its officers in an anti-smuggling operation involving eight vehicles loaded with rice.

The incident happened while the officer, Customs Assistant 1, Hamisu Sani, was on border patrol alongside other officers, as they strategized on how to intercept the vehicles with smuggled rice.

Unknown to the customs patrol team, the smugglers had also perfected their plan to stop the interception of the rice by laying ambush for the officers at Asero area of Abeokuta, Ogun State, where Sani was killed.

Another officer whose identity was not immediately known was also injured during the attack by the smugglers on Sunday.

It was gathered that Sani had earlier sustained injuries during another attack from the smugglers before he was killed Sunday.

The other officer who sustained injuries is said to be taking treatment in a hospital.
The Ogun State Customs Command spokesman, Mr. Abdullahi Maiwada, in a statement to newsmen on Monday said the murdered officer had been buried according to Islamic rites.

Maiwada, however, disclosed that two suspects had been arrested in connection with the attack, and that the perpetrators of the act would definitely be brought to book according to provisions of the law.

He added that the Command had also intercepted eight vehicles that were loaded with the smuggled rice.

The statement read: “Meanwhile, two suspects have been arrested by the police in connection with the incident and the eight vehicles fully loaded with the smuggled rice have been secured at the Customs House, Abeokuta, for further investigation.

“While we commend the patriotic role of our sister agencies and law abiding citizens, we wish to categorically state that we will deploy all necessary apparatuses to ensure that the perpetrators of this devilish act are brought to book to face the full weight of the law.

“Finally, the recurrence of such form of hostility and intimidation by smugglers and their accomplices on our officers and men will never distract us from vigorously discharging our statutory functions.”