The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Tin-Can Island Port Command said on Monday that it has intercepted a container load of arms and ammunition imported from Turkey.
This is the third container load of arms and ammunition (in large quantity) that were being impounded by the officers of the Nigeria Customs in 2017.
Recall that earlier in January the Service intercepted a container load of arms along Mile 2 Expressway while the Tin-Can Island Command intercepted another container load of arms on 23rd of May 2017.
Briefing newsmen in Lagos on Monday, Hameed Ali (rtd), comptroller-general of Customs said that the service on the 6th of September, 2017, the Customs Intelligent Unit on routine monitoring activities at the Tin-Can Island Command of Customs discovered a one by 20 foot container with the number, GESU2555208, which was not previously listed for examination but positioned with other containers for the day’s examination.
The Customs boss, who disclosed that all three containers of arms intercepted by the service earlier in the year were imported into the country from Turkey, raised alarm on the growing rate of such illicit import especially at this time the nation is undergoing some security challenges.
Giving a breakdown on how the container was intercepted by the service, Ali said the 20ft container was originally declared to contain building materials such as wash hand basins and water closets.
“The Customs CIU also observed that the seal of this unlisted container had already been cut and padlocked. The container became suspect and had to be immediately transferred to the Enforcement Unit of the command,” Ali added.
The CG further said that a Customs Officer and a terminal clerk had been arrested in connection with the broken seal.
“Upon thorough examination, the container contained 600 pieces of Jojef Magnum Black Pump action; 300 pieces of Jojef Magnum silver Pump action and 209 pieces of Jojef Magnum Plastic Single Barrels Hunting Gun Pump Action Rifles.
“This is a clear indication that there are indeed some elements who do not believe in the unity, peace and well being of Nigeria. The audacity of these criminals to think that the can smuggle such quantity of deadly weapons into the country calls for all round responsibilities.
“Therefore, shipping agencies and terminal operators must wake up to support the service to nip in the bud attempt to smuggle such dangerous items into the country,” he solicited.