From Matthew Aramunde, Lagos
The Federal Operations unit Zone ‘A’ Ikeja of the Nigerian customs said in a renewed effort and determination to confront smugglers headlong, Sunday, intercepted twenty two (22) brand new vehicles, comprising 19 (nineteen) Toyota Hilux pickups, two (2) Izuzu-DMAX Jeeps and one (1) Toyota Land Cruiser GRX 2014 model valued at N186 million along Ikoyi/Victoria Island axis.
The vehicles, whose value was put at N186,474,128.00 (one hundred and eighty six million, four hundred and seventy four thousand, one hundred and twenty eight naira are currently parked within the premises of the unit.
The Controller, Federal Operations Unit, D/C Turaki Usman Adamu, 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 operatives, pointing out that they had all the while trailed the vehicles from an unapproved route but had to restrain themselves from confronting the smugglers as they envisaged the possibility of recording casualties.
He further noted 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 revealed that despite these precautionary measures, the smugglers engaged his men in a gun duel, but were over powered by the superior fire powers. He however stressed that there were no casualties