The Nigerian Custom Service (NCS) Tin-Can Island Command has impounded 1,100 pump action rifles. This bring to a total of about 2110 pump action rifles so far impounded in Lagos in the last seven months.
The Comptroller General of the Nigerian Custom Service, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd) explained on Monday in Lagos that the weapons were concealed in a 1×20 ft container.
. The weapons were brought in from Turkey and concealed inside a container which Bill of Laden indicated it was conveying wash hand basins.
.Already, a Customs officer suspected to have cut the seal of the container without following due process, as well as a clerk at the command had been arrested in connection with the discovery.
“Again I am here to address you on another spectacular seizure of a deadly cargo brought in by those who do not wish this country well”, CGC Ali indicated, highlighting how hawk-eye officers and men of the Tin Can Island Port Customs Command uncovered, inside a 1x20ft container number GESU2555208, which was not even listed for examination last Thursday.
A breakdown showed the cargo consisted of 600 pieces of Jojef Magnum Black Pump Action Rifles, 300 Jojef Magnum Silver Pump Action Rifles, 200 pcs of Jojef Magnum Plastic Single Barrels Hunting Gun and another 200 pcs of Pump Action Rifles; all of which came aboard the Vesse,l MV Bella Shuttle of 01-01-2017.
The CGC further stated that “The bill of lading falsely indicates the content to be wash hand basins and water closets, but thorough examination the following day, 7th September 2017 revealed the importation of 1100 rifles at a time when the nation is undergoing some security challenges, a clear indication that there are indeed some elements who do not believe in the unity, peace and well being of Nigerians.
“This particular seizure being the third (3rd) in the series of arms seizure within 8 months of this year, presents an all time high of the triumph of NCS over evil forces.
“The audacity of these criminals to think that they can succeed in smuggling such quantity of deadly weapons into the country, calls for all round responsibilities.
“Shipping Agencies and Terminal operators must wake up to support the service to nip in the bud attempts to smuggle such dangerous items into the country.
“As you may as already be aware, the two previous cases of 661 Pump Action Rifles from Apapa and 440 Pump Action Rifles from this Command seized earlier in the year are already in court. We look forward to justice being served to deter other would be arm smugglers.
“Already one officer of the service alleged to have authorized the cutting of the seal and the terminal clerk have been arrested and are undergoing investigation.
“NCS under my leadership will do all that is possible to fish out all those remotely connected to the devilish importation. We shall bring them to justice.
“I commend the operatives of the Customs Intelligence Unit (CIU) for a job well done. Seizure such as this is a testimony to the fact that a well reformed and intelligence driven Nigerian Customs Service will better serve the interests of the nation.
“The present management will continue to reposition and fine tune operational strategies of the service in-line with the federal Government’s drive towards new and better ways of serving Nigerians.
“Finally, let me thank the media for your support and urge you to continue to inform and educate the citizens on the dangers of smuggling to the security and well beings of Nigerians”, Ali concluded.