The Nigeria Customs Service, NCS has intercepted a total of 31 rifles and ammunition concealed in plastic drums and sacks of charcoal within the first two weeks of July 2023.
Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, acting Comptroller General of the Service, who is on a working visit in Lagos, made this known at a press briefing held in the State on Monday, 17th July 2023.
He stated that the Customs Intelligence Unit (CIU) in a joint operation with the Nigeria Police, Department of State Security, DSS and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA carrying out a 100% examination of a 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 new Pump Action Rifles and one new unit of an armed Rifle, six new different types of pistols including one new millennium G2 pistol; one new sarsilmaz SAR-9X pistol; one (1) new Lugger Security-9 pistol; one new Taurus Banbridge G3C pistol; one new SCCY CPX-2 pistol, and one new Taurus (63 pistol). Others include 14 empty magazines and 442 rounds of live ammunition.
The Customs Boss noted that 2 suspects have been arrested in connection with the seizure.
He said, “The clearing agent, Shokunbi Olanrewaju of Shooler Global International Limited and Joseph Nwadiodor, who was expected to take delivery of the Container, are currently detained as suspects in connection with the seizure.
In the same vein, the Tincan Island Port Command of the Service, within the same period, while acting on credible intelligence; subjected a 1x40ft container to 100% physical examination with the relevant security Agencies at the ports.
According to the CGC, the physical examination uncovered 18 arms, packets of cartridges and rounds of live ammunition inside plastic drums.
Details of the seizure include six different makes of pistols namely: two Sar9 Sarsilmarz Pistols; one Ruger American Pistol and three Taurus G3c – Bainbridge Pistols); 12 different makes of riffles namely; five Rz17hd Rifles; one Gamo Rifle, five Pump Action Rifles and one Rz17 Tactical Rifle; 10 packets of cartridges; two packets of 9mm ammunition; 100 rounds of 9mm Winchester ammunition and one carton of Frontier cartridges and two 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 Customs Boss revealed.
“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”. He noted.
“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”. He added.
He reiterated the services’ resolve to tackle the economic and security menace caused by recalcitrant traders.
“Let me state at this point that the Service has re-strategised 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”, he said.
He implored importers and agents to be patriotic by making sincere declarations and be properly guided by the import/export prohibition lists, while also urging the public to see security as a collective responsibility.
“We will appreciate information of illegal importation and cross-border movement of dangerous weapons used to create mayhem in our nation,” he added.