The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has explained how operatives offered bandits seven bags of seized rice to save themselves from bandits.
A senior official of the service, Comptroller Aliyu Mohammed, the Coordinator of the Sector 4 Command of the Joint Border Patrol Team in the North West, narrated how the incident occurred during a press briefing on Tuesday in Katsina State.
The bandits who he said were operating in Dutsinma Local Government Area of the state had an encounter with the customs operatives when they entered the bush where the criminals were taking shelter.
He noted that the bandits camped on the same route that smugglers used to bring contrabands into the country.
“The operatives seized 37 bags of rice and the bandits asked for seven bags before allowing them to pass and save their lives.
“So, you see the risk we take but people, especially those living along the border communities engaged in attacking our officers,” he told newsmen.
He decried the killing of several customs personnel killed and injured last year while carrying out their official assignments.
The comptroller noted that the sector has intercepted contrabands with a duty-paid value of over N304,325,850.90 and arrested four smugglers in Katsina State from February 1 to date.
Mohammed called on the residents to always check the expiry date of any product before using them.
Other items seized within the period include 1,021 bags of foreign parboiled rice of 50kg, 28,830 litres of petrol, a Toyota Corolla 2020 model, and a Toyota Camry 2016 model, as well as 200 bags of dates of 100kg.
While advising residents living around the border to desist from accommodating smugglers and their illegally smuggled items, he also warned traditional leaders, particularly in Kebbi State to desist from mobilising hooligans to attack the security operatives.