One dies as smugglers battle customs officers in Ogun
One person was feared dead and many others injured in a bloody clash between officers of the Nigeria Customs Service and suspected smugglers in Ogun State.
The hoodlums also destroyed a customs base located at Owode during the fracas.
The deceased died on Tuesday when he fell off his motorcycle while fleeing from the customs enforcement team. He was said to be carrying smuggled bags of rice from Benin Republic into Nigeria when he ran into the team.
Public Relations Officer of the Ogun 1 Area Command, Hammed Oloyede, said at about 2: 30p.m, a combined patrol team attached to Nigeria Customs Service, Ogun I Command, went on information patrol around Sele/Owode Ketu Road, Yewa North Local Government in Ogun State, during which they intercepted a motorcycle loaded with foreign bags of rice.
Oloyede said the rice and the means of conveyance were taken to the patrol base, while some officers were left behind to be on surveillance.
“On reaching a bush path, some suspected smugglers on motorcycles laden with some bags of 50kg foreign parboiled rice, on sighting the officers, ran away in convoy to evade arrest.
“With the level of their speed and the state of the road, one of the suspected smugglers summersaulted, hit his head on the ground, while the motorcycle fell on him and was discovered dead on the spot. His body was taken to the mortuary by the police, while the motorcycle with the uncustomed goods was taken to the police station.
“However, some unscrupulous youths resorted to unleashing mayhem on customs personnel, burnt a patrol base, and took away one of the intercepted motorcycles,” he said.
The spokesman further said on getting the report, the Customs Area Controller immediately called for reinforcement from other customs patrol teams, border drill and Nigeria Police whose combined efforts brought the situation under control. As of the time of this report, normalcy was said to have returned to the area.
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