By Steve Agbota
The smuggler suspected to have killed two Customs officers recently has been arrested in a shrine at the Yewa area of Ogun State, where he had gone to perform ritual against his arrest.
However, another suspect, who had fled into Benin Republic after the killing another set of Customs officers in October, was also arrested in the early hours of yesterday.
Addressing newsmen, yesterday, in Lagos, the acting Controller of the Federal Operations Unit, Zone A, Hussein Ejibunu, said that the suspect arrested in a shrine was dressed in red clothing with a cock in his hand and reciting incantation as at the time of his arrest, while the other was arrested in the early hours of yesterday.
“The importance of this message is that smugglers will no longer kill any of our officers and get away with it, no matter how long it will take us to get them,” he added.
“This period of the year usually has the tradition of springing high-level smuggling activities all over the country, with particular reference to the South West Zone that I superintend. Being very much aware of the foregoing known facts, this unit proactively marshalled out strategies to put the activities of smugglers in check. The application of these strategies, which for security reasons are not to be made public, provoked the avalanche of seizures to be showcased today.
“I must unequivocally state that the smugglers themselves keep devising new tactics to beat our operatives to it, inclusive of readiness to eliminate officers. We are never deterred by their antics. We remain committed to the mandate given to us by the Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC) – Colonel Hameed Ibrahim Ali (retd) and his Management,” he added.
Meanwhile, he displayed number of seizures made by the Unit in the last five weeks, which include 13,342 bags of 50kg smuggled parboiled rice; 3,696 pieces and 175 sacks of used shoes with the Chinese language; 285 cartons of Basmati rice; 464 cartons of tomato paste; 1,009 cartons of expired Chinese drinks; 694 bales of secondhand clothing; 5,413 cartons of medicaments without NAFDAC numbers or certification.