Customs Intercept Arms, Ammunition Into Nigeria from U.S

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted 31 rifles illegally shipped into the country from the United States of America which is suspected to be heading to the South East of Nigeria.

The Acting Comptroller General of Customs (CGC), Adewale Adeniyi, disclosed this on Monday at a news conference at the Federal Operations Unit, Zone A, Ikeja, Lagos.

Customs CG, Wale Adeniyi (2nd right) displaying the guns

“On July 5, a joint operation with the Nigeria Police, the Department of State Security, the National Drug Law Enforcement and Administration, and the Customs Intelligence Unit at the Ports Terminal and Multi Services Limited Command was conducted. A thorough physical examination of a 40ft container was conducted. The examination revealed the concealment of 10 dangerous arms and various rounds of live ammunition inside plastic drums.

“The details are three new Pump Action rifles and one new unit of an armed rifle, six new different makes of pistols, one new millennium G2 pistol, one new Sarsilmaz SAR-9X pistol.

“Others are one new Lugger Security-9 pistol, one new Taurus Banbridge G3C pistol, one new SCCY CPX-2 pistol, and one new Taurus (63 pistol), 14 empty magazines and 442 rounds of live ammunition,” Adeniyi said.

He said the clearing agent, Shokunbi Olanrewaju of Shooler Global International Ltd., and one Joseph Nwadiodor, expected to take delivery of the container, are currently detained as suspects in connection with the seizure.

Similarly, he said within the same period, the Tin Can Island Port Command of the NCS, while acting on credible intelligence, subjected a 40ft container to 100 per cent physical examination with the relevant security agencies at the ports.

He said that the physical examination uncovered 18 arms, packets of cartridges and rounds of live ammunition inside plastic drums.

Arms and ammunition concealed in charcoal

Adeniyi listed the details as: six different makes of pistols, two Sar9 Sarsilmarz Pistols, one Ruger American Pistol and three Taurus G3c – Bainbridge Pistols.

“Others are 12 different makes of riffles, five Rz17hd Rifles, one Gamo Rifle, five Pump Action Rifles and one (1) Rz17 Tactical Rifle.

“Also included are 10 packets of cartridges, two packets of 9mm ammunition, 100 rounds of 9mm Winchester ammunition, one carton of Frontier cartridges, two packets of Buckshot ammunition,” he said.

Adeniyi said that during a routine patrol along Owode/Ajilete Axis of Ogun State, officers of the Joint Border Patrol Team Sector 2, on July 12, intercepted an unregistered Toyota Camry loaded with six sacks of charcoal, used to conceal three pump action riffles with 174 live cartridges.

He said that 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.

“Illicit arms obtained by non-state actors have boosted the proliferation of small arms and ammunition across the country. This accounts for the increase in violent kidnappings, robberies, and mass killings in society.

“Let me state at this point that the service has re-strategized its operations, while our officers have raised their levels of professionalism, and have keyed into the mantra of renewed hope aimed at facilitating legitimate trade,” Adeniyi said.

He noted that they had re-injected new tactics to tackle the economic and security menace caused by recalcitrant importers and their agents.

Customs CG briefing journalists

Adeniyi implored importers and agents to be patriotic by making sincere declarations and to be properly guided by the import and export prohibition lists.

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