Officers of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) intercepted a container filled with arms and ammunition at two ports in Lagos State.
This was disclosed by the Ag. Comptroller General of the Service, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, at a press briefing while on a working visit to Lagos.
According to Adeniyi, the 40-foot container load of guns at Ports & Terminal Multi-Services Ltd (PTML) and Tin-Can Island Port were destined for the South-East region of Nigeria.
He said thirty-one rifles and ammunition were concealed in plastic drums and sacks of charcoal within the first two weeks of July 2023.
He further stated that a 100% joint examination was carried out by the Customs Intelligence Unit (CIU) with the Nigeria Police, Department of State Security, DSS, and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA on the 1x40ft container on the 5th of July, 2022 at the Ports & Terminal Multiservices Limited, uncovered ten (10) dangerous arms and ammunition concealed inside a plastic drum.
A breakdown of the concealed items includes Three (3) new Pump Action Rifles and one new unit of an armed Rifle, Six (6) new different types of pistols including one new millennium G2 pistol; one (1) new sarsilmaz SAR-9X pistol; one (1) new Lugger Security-9 pistol; one (1) new Taurus Banbridge G3C pistol; one new SCCY CPX-2 pistol, and one (1) new Taurus (63 pistol). Others include fourteen (14) empty magazines and 442 rounds of live ammunition.
The Customs boss noted that two suspects have been arrested in connection with the seizure.
“The clearing agent, Mr Shokunbi Olanrewaju of Shooler Global International Limited and Mr Joseph Nwadiodor, who was expected to take delivery of the Container, are currently detained as suspects in connection with the seizure,” Adeniyi said.
In the same vein, Adeniyi revealed that within the same period, while acting on credible intelligence, the Tincan Island Port Command of the Service subjected a 1x40ft container to 100% physical examination with the relevant security Agencies at the ports.
According to the Ag. CGC, 18 arms, packets of cartridges and rounds of live ammunition inside plastic drums uncovered.
Recovered items include: 6 different makes of pistols namely: two (2) Sar9 Sarsilmarz Pistols; one (1) Ruger American Pistol and three (3) Taurus G3c – Bainbridge Pistols), twelve (12) different makes of riffles namely; five (5) Rz17hd Rifles; one (1) Gamo Rifle, five (5) Pump Action Rifles and one (1) Rz17 Tactical Rifle).
It included ten (10) packets of cartridges, two (2) packets of 9mm ammunition, 100 rounds of 9mm Winchester ammunition, One (1) carton of Frontier cartridges and two (2) packets of Buckshot ammunition.
“Again, during a routine Patrol along Owode/Ajilete Axis of Ogun State by Officers of the Joint Border Patrol Team Sector 2, on Wednesday 12 July 2023, intercepted an unregistered Toyota Camry loaded with six sacks of charcoal, which was used to conceal three (3) pump action riffles with 174 live cartridges.
“The driver of the vehicle who knew the content he was conveying vis-a-vis the attendant consequences of his action before the law; jumped into the bush and escaped arrest.
“Investigation into the seizures is inconclusive. The outcome of our investigations together with the seizures will be handed over to the appropriate authorities for further investigation and prosecution.”
“Let me state at this point that the Service has re-strategized its operations, while our Officers have raised their levels of professionalism, we have re-injected new tactics to tackle the economic and security menace caused by recalcitrant importers and their agents.
“The Services’ human resources and logistics are collectively harnessed to combat and prevent economic sabotage.”