The Ogun State Command of the Nigeria Customs Service intercepted banned items worth N153million in the last two weeks.
This was even as the Customs Area Controller, Sani Madugu vowed to track down some car smugglers who left one of its operatives seriously injured with machetes after an attack at Ibeju River, around Ifoyintedo last week.
Madugu in a chat with Journalists said apart from the 13 impounded vehicles, other seizures made from smugglers within the period were 1,168 bags of 50kg foreign rice, 221 kegs of vegetable oil, five sacks of second-hand shoes, and two sacks of second-hand bags.
He added that 12 additional vehicles and 21 motorcycles used as means of conveyance of the bags of rice were also seized.
“It is pertinent to inform you that within the last two weeks, we have sustained the tempo promised in our anti-smuggling activities. During the period under review, the tireless efforts by the officers and men of the command yielded a total 13 Tokunbo vehicles, 12 means of conveyance, 21 motorcycles, 1,168 bags of rice, 221 kegs of vegetable oil, 5 sacks of second-hand shoes with a Duty Paid Value Of N153million.”
Meanwhile, speaking on recent attack on an officer, Compt. Madugu said the command will not fold its arms while officers are being attacked by smugglers, appealing to traditional rulers to warn their wards against smuggling activities.
He said, “We are on the trail of the smugglers because we cannot fold our hands and allow them to be attacking us. We will retaliate and get at them and kill them if possible because they are killing us. We will not sit down and fold our arms and be looking at them.
“We are not fighting the public but smugglers. We also call on traditional rulers to discourage the activities of their wards that indulge in smuggling and perceive such as a legitimate way of livelihood,”
He said the Verla Range Rover worth over N51million was intercepted during a routine patrol by officers along the Lagos –Abeokuta Express way adding that no arrest was made as the smugglers fled into the bush on sighting the officers.
He said, “The officers were on a routine patrol within the State when they came into contact with this vehicle. We were lucky we intercepted it and got the key. When the smugglers got out of the car, they jumped into the bush. We were trying to vandalize the car because it is a unique vehicle but we were lucky they left the key on the floor while they were running.
“I’m surprise somebody has money to buy a vehicle of N52million and you don’t want to pay government a kobo. How selfish some Nigerians can be? This is sickening and disturbing. These are really unpatriotic Nigerians, they have the money but they don’t want to pay tax.
“They know vehicles have been banned through the land borders, so why are we deceiving ourselves. They will succeed one day but all other days will be for customs. We will continue to seize all these brand new cars, the more they come, the more we seize them,” he said.