The GRA said the officers, who were conducting a surveillance exercise based on intelligence received, came under heavy gun fire after detaining three mini buses containing one hundred fifty boxes (150) of chicken for which no papers could be produced and a car driven by the son of a suspected smuggler. It is alleged that shortly after the keys for the vehicles and the cell phones of the occupants were taken into custody that the suspected smuggler himself and three accomplices pulled up in a grey Toyota Allion motor vehicle, existed and open fire in the direction of the LEID officials.
The officers were forced to retreat and take cover, while the detainees escaped in several waiting motor vehicles. When the dust settled, the motor vehicle used by LEID officials to conduct the exercise was badly damaged after being riddled with bullets, as well as two of the detained mini buses. One officer who was not so fortunate was injured about the body with pellets allegedly fired from a shot gun.
A number of spent shells, live rounds and war heads were reportedly recovered by police from the scene.
Commissioner-General, Mr. Khurshid Sattaur has expressed grave concern at the length to which person are willing to go to ply their illegal trade, defraud the government of revenues and endanger the lives of consumers with smuggled goods. He said that he is heartened by the commitment of his officers to duty even in the face of danger to life and limb.
“I commend the officials of LEID for so ably carrying out their duty inspite of the many challenges,” Mr. Sattaur said.
He noted that GRA will continue to play its role and take a strong stance against such nefarious activities and criminal elements.