A Customs officer, Rasheed Abdulsalam, has been kidnapped while Customs operatives are intercepting a gang of smugglers at Sango Ota in Ogun State.
Other Customs officers of the federal operating unit zone ‘A’, Lagos were injured in the clashes with the smugglers.
Spokesman of the Customs unit, Joseph Attah, addressing newsmen in Ikeja, Lagos, said that the Customs officers were attacked while intercepting smugglers near the Gateway Hotel in the town, on Saturday night.
He explained that the officers were ambushed near the Shoprite by some of the smugglers.
Considering the delicate nature of the environment, the anti-smuggling operatives, on running into the smugglers, could not shoot because a tanker was discharging petrol at that time and any incendiary material could throw the entire vicinity into a ball of fire.
“They also didn’t want any stray bullet to hit anyone. So, they exercised restraint.
“That location made it very difficult for our men to fire a single shot. The smugglers pelted their vehicles with petrol and just looking for how the area will be set ablaze and swell the number of casualties. But they didn’t succeed.
“Sensing danger, our men found a way to escape from the vicinity but not without picking one the buses used in smuggling”, Attah explained.
Attah said there are plans to rescue the abducted Customs officer.