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How we tricked bandits with bags of rice to escape – Custom boss

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Coordinator of the Sector 4 Command Joint Border Patrol Team, of the Nigeria Custom Service in North West, Aliyu Mohammed has disclosed that he offered seven bags of seized rice to bandits for the release of his team.

He spoke to newsmen on Tuesday in Katsina, saying he has to trick the bandits with the rice at Dutsinma Local Government Area of Katsina State for their release.

The Coordinator lamented the challenges often faced in the course of discharging their duties.

He explained that when they encountered the bandits, they asked for seven bags of rice out of 27 seized while they threatened that the officers would not be released alive, if he declined, which he has no choice than to release the rice to them.

He decried the uncooperative attitude of citizens to them, thereby made things difficult for them to discharge their responsibilities.

Explaining their ordeal in hands of smugglers, the Custom boss noted how smugglers incited some villagers to throw stones against them.

“The challenge we have is that the people we are working for are not supporting us.

“If we have any problem, just accidental discharge in a village, the whole people will bounce on customs.

“If you make seizure, instead of the villagers to assist you, they may end up attacking you.

“I sacrificed my life to enter the bush where the bandits are — the last time we had contact with them — to the extent that they were a little bit friendly with us.

“We seized 37 bags of rice and they said if we are to go, they have to take seven bags. So, we gave them seven bags to save our lives.

“So, you see the risks we take, but people, especially those living along the border communities, engage in attacking our officers.”

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