Customs Intercepts Guns, Military Equipment Worth N1.5billion At Lagos Airport

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By DAPO OLAWUNI

Less than 48 hours after announcing the interception of container of arms at Onne Port, Rivers State, the Nigeria Customs Service again on Wednesday announced another significant seizure of arms and other military and Paramilitary accoutrements worth N1,568,907,386.48 at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos.

Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi (middle) displaying the seized items

Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi who displayed the seizures, stated that a consignment with airway bill number 235-58737755, emanating from Turkey was examined and discovered to contain 55 PIECES OF UNASSEMBLED JOJEF MAGNUM (TOMAHAWK) SEMI AUTOMATIC SHOTGUN.
The unassembled rifles were concealed using SHOWER FAUCET.

The Duty Paid Value of these illicit arms alone according to him was N270, 888, 109.29.

He disclosed that a suspect has been arrrested in connection with the illicit arms importation and is assisting with an ongoing investigation to uncover the perpetrators of this heinous crime.

Also, on display were some Military and Paramilitary accoutrements improperly imported without end users’ certificates with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N1,298,019,276.91 only.

The breakdown of these items is as follows:

Drones 148pcs
Ballistic Vest 172pcs
Ballistic Plate 15pcs
Ballistic Helmet 1pc
Walkie Talkie 8pcs
Military &Paramilitary Badges. 9,172pcs
Camouflage Uniform 20pcs
Camouflage Vest 100pcs
Camouflage Cap 172pcs
Binoculars 120pcs

The total Duty Paid Value of all the displayed items is N1,568,907,386.48 only.
Adeniyi said “Analysis of this and similar recent seizures indicates that some unscrupulous Nigerians based in Turkey are purchasing, packaging and exporting these illicit arms to Nigeria. Intelligence further revealed that they are exploring new frontiers to perpetrate their nefarious activities. Still, I can assure Nigerians that all our Commands are on red alert to intercept any such illicit arms importation.

“Relying on the relevant provisions of the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023, the following decisions have been taken on the illicit items.

“The 55 pieces of unassembled JOJEF MAGNUM SEMI AUTOMATIC SHOTGUN are hereby seized, with the concealing items.

“The items would be handed over to the Coordinator of the National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons, under the office of the National Security Adviser, for diligent investigation and prosecution.

“The Suspect arrested will be handed over to the centre for further processing; we will work diligently with other Agencies of Government to apprehend all other parties to this illicit importation.

“All other controlled items imported without the requisite end-user certificates are hereby seized.

“Officers whose diligence, integrity and dedication to duty resulted in this remarkable seizure would be adequately rewarded in a manner provided by the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023.

“In closing, I would like to extend my heartfelt commendation to Customs Area Comptroller MMAC, MT AWE and his dedicated officers and men for these interceptions. Their unwavering professionalism and commitment are truly commendable. I also wish to express our deep gratitude to our various partners, both local and international, who provided invaluable intelligence that was crucial for this interception.

“Lastly, this seizure sends an unequivocal warning to anyone considering similar illicit importation. The Service is relentless in its pursuit of securing our national frontiers and fostering national security. Under my leadership, the Service will not condone any act that threatens this nation’s national security and economic prosperity” he said

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