Nigeria Customs Intercepts Arms, Ammunitions in Lagos, Arrests Suspects – AutoReportNG
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Nigeria Customs Intercepts Arms, Ammunitions in Lagos, Arrests Suspects

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) yesterday said it intercepted a 40-foot container load of guns at Ports & Terminal Multi-Services Ltd (PTML) and Tin-Can Island Ports, heading for the Southeast region of the country.

Addressing the media in Lagos, yesterday, the acting Comptroller General of Customs, Adewale Bashir Adeniyi, said the discovery was made during a joint inspection exercise between Customs, Nigeria Police, the Department of State Security (DSS), and the National Drug Law Enforcement and Administration (NDLEA).

“Since assuming the role of acting Comptroller General, our dedicated officers and men have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to their responsibilities. Their diligence and perseverance have been the cornerstone of our operations.

“Our actions within the NCS have been driven by a deep sense of purpose and guided by the mantra of renewed hope, which underpins the current administration’s vision. We recognize the significance of our role in contributing to the overall objectives of the President Tinubu-led administration, as articulated in the road map of the policy advisory council document,” he said.

He said the declaration of a state of emergency in revenue generation and national security has further aligned NCS activities with the government’s overarching goals.

“Pursuant to this commitment, I stand before you, today, to highlight the recent achievements of the NCS in our ongoing efforts to suppress smuggling and safeguard national security. Some of our dedicated and diligent officers uncovered some smuggled arms and ammunition while on duty at various commands and formations.

“On July 5, 2023, during 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 (PTML) Command, 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; one new Lugger Security-9 pistol; one new Taurus Banbridge G3C pistol; one new SCCY CPX-2 pistol, one new Taurus (63 pistols); 14 empty magazines; and 442 rounds of live ammunition.

“The clearing agent, Mr. Shokunbi Olanrewaju, of Shooler Global International Ltd, and Mr. Joseph Nwadiodor, who was expected to take delivery of the container, are currently detained as suspects in connection with the seizure. Similarly, within the same period, the Tin-Can Island Port Command of the Service, while acting on credible intelligence, subjected a 1by40ft container to 100 percent physical examination with the relevant security agencies at the ports,” he explained.

He said the physical examination uncovered 18 arms, packets of cartridges, and rounds of live ammunition inside plastic drums. He said the details are two Sar9 Sarsilmaz pistols; one Ruger American pistol and three Taurus G3c – Bainbridge pistols).

“Five Rz17hd rifles; one Gamo rifle; five Pump Action rifles; one Rz17 Tactical rifle; 10 packets of cartridges; two packets of 9mm ammunition; 100 rounds of 9mm Winchester ammunition; one carton of Frontier cartridges; and two packets of Buckshot ammunition.

“Again, during a routine patrol along the Owode/Ajilete axis of Ogun State by officers of the Joint Border Patrol Team Sector 2, on Wednesday, July 12, 2023, an unregistered Toyota Camry loaded with six sacks of charcoal, which was used to conceal three pump action rifles with 174 live cartridges was intercepted. 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 revealed.

In summary, he revealed that a total of 31 rifles were intercepted within the first two weeks of July 2023, adding that investigation into the seizures was inconclusive and the outcome of the service investigations together with the seizures would be handed over to the appropriate authorities for further investigation and prosecution.

He said illicit arms obtained by non-state actors have boosted the proliferation of small arms and ammunition across the country, adding that 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.

“In doing this, we are assuring all compliant traders and importers that they have nothing to fear. We have re-injected new tactics to tackle the economic and security menace caused by recalcitrant importers and their agents. The Service’s human resources and logistics are collectively harnessed to combat and prevent economic sabotage.

“I implore importers and agents to be patriotic by making sincere declarations, and to be properly guided by the import/export prohibition lists. I also urged the public to see security as a collective responsibility. We will appreciate information on illegal importation and cross-border movement of dangerous weapons used to create mayhem in our nation,” he said.


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