The officers of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) have intercepted another quantity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), also known as petrol in Badagry, Lagos State.
This is the second time within a week.
In a press statement by the Spokesperson of the Unit, SC Theophilus Duniya, the 81,425 litres were intercepted on the verge of being smuggled into neighboring Benin Republic.
According to the statement: “The operation, officers of the command were severally shot at by suspected smugglers during the all night operation.
In Duniya’s words, “the highly inflammable products were packed in jerrycans and sacks”
According to him, the suspected smugglers who were using dane guns shot at customs officers who made the seizure.
“The seizures were results of painstaking intelligence and perseverance on the part of FOU officers who are committed to protecting the national economy.
Deputy Comptroller Ejibunu described perpetrators of trans border fuel smuggling as saboteurs that must be stopped as they don’t mean well for the country,” the statement quoted the CAC.
Duniya, said his boss, decried a situation where the Federal Government spends huge amount of money to subsidise fuel for Nigerian citizens benefit only for a few persons to be smuggling the subsidised fuel out of Nigeria for selfish gains.
He said “The seizure is a result of serious intelligence. We have been monitoring them since last week, and the information came to me that some people are using sacks to smuggle petroleum products out of Nigeria.
”We put a tab on them and their cup became full yesterday. And what baffles me is the manner of loading, which I consider highly ingenious.
“For someone to think that instead of carrying drums like the ones we intercepted a few days ago from Ayegun border where they brought in about 60 drums containing PMS about to be moved from Nigeria and hid them in a bush; it was where they went to secure trucks that we swooped on them.
“The only difference in this new one is that they used sacks to conceal the product and put them close to a creek, from where they will be ferried out.
“The implications In the economy are multifaceted, in the sense that firstly, our country subsidized petroleum products for us for our own use, yet some recalcitrant people who believe that that is the way they can always survive still believe it is to shortchange the nation as well. And it is criminal, because it is our collective patrimony, yet some people now believe that they can smuggle it to make gains.
” When my Operatives got there at exactly 1330hrs, they were shot at with dane guns. And you know that there is a difference between dane guns, pump action guns and assault rifles like AK47.
“They fired their dane guns a few times and ran away, and since it was their terrain, they knew all the nooks and crannies to use for escape. We took possession because I moved in with 18 Hilux vehicles loaded with officers who were armed to the teeth, because I was ready and knew what could come up.
“We have not slept; we went there this morning to see what we apprehended, and it was massive. The implications on the economy are multifaceted, in the sense that firstly, subsidized petroleum products for us for our own use, yet some recalcitrant people who believe that that is the way they can always survive still believe it is to shortchange the nation as well. And it is criminal, because it is our collective patrimony, yet some people now believe that they can smuggle it to make gain” he said