Suspected smugglers have abducted an officer of the Nigerian Customs Service in Ogun State, while also carting away arms and ammunition.
It was learnt that the armed smugglers on Thursday vandalised one of the patrol vehicles before leaving with the Customs officer identified as CA 1, Taiwo Odeyemi.
According to Daily Trust, the abducted Customs officer was the driver of one of the patrol vans used to trail the smugglers.
The Public Relations Officer, Ogun 1 Command, Hammed Bukoye Oloyede, who confirmed the incident said, “On Thursday, December 3, 2020, at about 12.10 pm, a team of officers from the Nigeria Customs Service, Ogun I Command, while on a routine mobile patrol along Olorunlere village, near Alapoti in the Ado-Odo Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State, intercepted some vehicles loaded with bags of foreign parboiled rice.
The PRO said the suspected smugglers, on sighting the patrol team, attempted to evade arrest and eventually started shooting sporadically at the officers.
He added that this later resulted in a serious exchange of fire between the two sides.
Oloyede said consequently, the patrol team called for reinforcement, but before the intervention from other units, the officers were overwhelmed due to the number of the smugglers.
“In the ensuing commotion, the team tactically withdrew to enable the arrival of the reinforcements teams.
“On the arrival of the military personnel and other units of Customs, including the Federal Operations Unit as requested by the CAC, the hoodlums had already vandalised one of the official vehicles attached to the team.
“It was later discovered that an official driver, Odeyemi, was missing and has not been found as at the time of writing this report.
“Investigation is ongoing, and effort is being made along with other security agencies and other critical stakeholders to locate the whereabouts of the missing officer and rescue him alive,” he added.
Oloyede further revealed that the NCS strongly warned smugglers and their supporters that the constant attacks leave officers with no other choice than to use reasonable force to deal with this new wave of criminal attacks on personnel performing their statutory functions.
“The command is not deterred by this and will step up its offensives against those whose interest is to make profits at the expense of the nation.
“The NCS has vowed to ensure that those behind this attack face the full wrath of the law and justice,” he said.