Following his determination to step up anti-smuggling fight in the country, the men and officers of the new Controller Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone ‘A’ Ikeja, Deputy Controller Turaki Usman Adamu last week intercepted twenty two brand new vehicles, comprising 19 Toyota Hilux pickups, two Isuzu-DMAX Jeeps and one Toyota Land Cruiser GRX 2014 model, along Ikoyi/Victoria Island axis.
The vehicles were valued at N186, 474,128.00 (one hundred and eighty six million, four hundred and seventy four thousand, one hundred and twenty eight naira only).
The Controller while addressing media men in his office disclosed that the Seizure was as a result of intelligence gathering which necessitated laying of ambush by the FOU ‘A’ operatives pointing out that FOU ‘A’ operatives trailed the vehicles from an unapproved route but could not intercept them there because of the possibility of recording casualties.
He stated that as professionals with the requisite training and competence, the Unit could not afford to embark on aggressive confrontation with the smugglers particularly in densely populated areas, hence the need to trail them to a safe place. He said, “Despite these precautionary measures, the smugglers engaged our operatives in a gun duel, but were over-powered by the superior fire powers of our operatives but interestingly there were no casualties.”
He further told the media that the interception was effected by a Patrol Team headed by Assistant Controller Adamu Mohammed and led by S/C Abdullahi, comprising other officers and men of the Unit.
The Controller attributed the Seizure to the dexterity, resilience, commitment and dedication of all officers and men of the Unit, particularly the seizing officers.
Recall that in his maiden briefing after one month in office, the Controller vowed to re-activate and re-awaken the Unit as a hub and flagship of anti-smuggling in the country. Shortly after taking over six (6) weeks ago, the Controller has put operational modalities and frame work in place to ensure a very proactive approach to smuggling activities.
The Controller eulogized the Comptroller-General of Customs Alhaji Abdullahi Dikko Inde CFR and his management team for their unflinching support in terms of logistics, provision of arms/ammunition, functional Patrol vehicles, training/re-training and staff remuneration and motivation. He noted that all of these have culminated into spectacular seizures since he took over 6 (six) weeks ago.
He promised to sustain the tempo with a view to re-positioning and re-activating the anti-smuggling ambience of the Unit.