The Ogun Area Controller of the Nigeria Customs Service, Peter Kolo, has raised the alarm that smugglers and their supporters are allegedly using pump action rifles, AK47, local charms and some other dangerous weapons to attack his officers in the border areas of the state.
Kolo lamented that the armed attacks were responsible for the casualties mostly recorded at the border areas of the state.
The Area Comptroller said this during a press briefing on the scorecard of NCS Ogun I Area Command held at Idi-Iroko part of the state.
The customs boss, however, reiterated that the attacks on the NCS operatives would not deter them from performing their fundamental duties.
He said, “We wish to reiterate that the sustained attacks on operatives of NCS and other sister agencies will not deter us from the continued performance of our legitimate duties in Ogun State.
“On several occasions, our officers, while performing their lawful duties, come under sustained harassment and attacks from daredevil smugglers and their supporters/sympathisers, who use pump action rifles, AK 47 rifles, local charms and other dangerous weapons.
“This sometimes results to casualties on either side or both. For instance on October 12, 2020, one officer, AIC Solomon Alagye, was killed and another officer of the Service CAI (T) Taiwo Odeyemi is still missing up till today after an attack on their patrol team on December 3, 2020 by these criminal gangs”
On revenue, he said that the command made a total of 1,830 seizures, valued at N2.4 billion between January 2020 and January 2021.
Kolo said that the agency also generated about N66 million from the auction of seized petroleum products and perishable goods.
He listed the seized goods to include foreign parboiled rice, frozen poultry products, used clothing, dangerous drugs, petroleum products and perishable goods like tomatoes.
“It is worthy of note that the major source of revenue of the command from import/export has not been in operation since the closure of land borders by the Federal Government.
“The border closure has since lasted for more than one year and still remain so.
“Hence, the only source of revenue for the command, as of today, is fees collected from the auction sales of seized petroleum products and other perishable items,” he said.
Kolo attributed the achievements to the ‘recent strategies’ adopted by the command under his leadership.