Customs intercept rifles worth N270m in Lagos
General Security

Customs intercept rifles worth N270m in Lagos

By Opeyemi Muhammad

The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted a cache of arms and ammunition valued at N270 million at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA) in Lagos.

The Comptroller General of Customs (CGC), Bashir Adeniyi, made this known in a statement.

TheNewsZenith obtained a copy of the statement signed by the Customs spokesman, Abdullahi Maiwada, in Lagos on Friday.

According to the statement, the Customs intercepted the consignment at the cargo section of the Murtala Muhammad Airport (MMA).

Some of the illegal items in the consignments seized by the Customs

Operatives of the Customs has taken into custody, a suspect who imported the consignment from Turkiye.

According to the Customs boss, the Airport Command also intercepted military hardware and accoutrements.

”You may recall that the Customs recently impounded 11 rifles and six pistols, among other items.

”Similarly, just two days ago, we held a press briefing of this kind in Port Harcourt, where we showcased the seizure of 844 rifles and 112,500 rounds of ammunition.

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”On June 19, we deployed our personnel to man all the exit points effectively. We mandated all examination officers to conduct 100 per cent examination of all consignments.

”During the examination, operatives discovered an item suspected to contain rifle parts from a console consignment.

”The consignment has a airway bill number 235-58737755, emanating from Turkey,” TheNewsZenith quoted Adeniyi as stating.

He said operatives isolated the entire consignment for thorough examination.

”At the end of the examination, we established that the importer used four packages to conceal 55 pieces of unassembled Jojef Magnum (Tomahawk) semi-automatic shotgun.

”A suspect, arrested in connection with the consignment, concealed the unassembled rifles using shower faucet.

”The duty paid value of these illicit arms is N270.8 million and a suspect is currently in our custody.

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”The suspect in connection with this illicit arms importation and is assisting with an ongoing investigation to uncover the perpetrators of this heinous crime.”

The Customs boss added that an analysis of similar recent seizures indicated 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.

”All our commands are on red alert to intercept any such illicit arms importation,” he added.

Adeniyi said that the command also seized other military and para-military hardware and accoutrements worth N1.29 billion.

”The military accoutrements are drones, ballistic vests, helmets, walkie-talkies among others.

”Also on display are some military and paramilitary accoutrements improperly imported without end users’ certificates with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N1.29 billion.

”Items in the consignment are: 148 pieces of drones; 172 pieces of ballistic vest and 15 pieces of ballistic vest.

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Others include one piece of ballistic helmet; eight pieces of walkie-talkies; 9,172 pieces of military and para-military badges.

”Also in the consignment are 20 pieces of camouflage uniform; 100 pieces of camouflage vest; 172 pieces of Camouflage caps and 120 pieces of binoculars,” Adeniyi said.

The Customs boss noted that the total Duty Paid Value of all the displayed items was N1.56 billion.

The Customs boss highlighted some decisions taken on the illicit items. This is in accordance with relevant provisions of the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023.

These included the seizure of the 55 pieces of unassembled JOJEF Magnum AGNUM SemiEMI Automatic Shotgun.

”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.”,%20I’

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