Nigerians are generally worried by the spate of smuggled heavy arms and ammunitions into the country by enemies of Nigeria and economic saboteurs that are bent of disrupting the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The worry of Nigerians is not unconnected with the latest revelation by the Nigerian Customs that they have again intercepted another container with huge arms and ammunition barely five months after it seized over 661 pump action rifles. As a matter of fact, the Tin-Can Island Command of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) disclosed on Tuesday (May 23, 2017) discovered yet another container filled with 440 guns of various sizes and designs imported into the country. But just like the interception before this one, the Customs refused to disclose the details of the importer or importers of the consignment. The Assistant Comptroller General of Customs, Monday Abuse, who briefed journalists while displaying some of the rifles, said the offensive cargo was shipped into Nigeria from Turkey.
Abueh said a suspect had been arrested in connection with the importation. According to Abuse, the consignment was declared as POP cement to cover up the illicit import. He explained that the container with number PONU 210024, was picked up based on intelligence, stressing that investigation into how and who are behind the import is ongoing.
Specifically, he said: “Right in my hand is a sample of pump action which has various designs. Based on intelligence report, this command identified the container and the container was intercepted even before declaration. “On opening the container, we discovered that they used POP powder to conceal the importation but based on intelligence report we were able to know that the container was laden with arm. The particulars’ of the consignee is still being kept under wraps for security reason.” The ACG commended the command for the seizure and their contribution to the success of the leadership of the service.
Customs Area Comptroller, Bashar Yusuf, stated that intelligence report necessitated the segregation of the 1x20ft container to the enforcement unit for physical examination.
The Customs Area Controller gave the breakdown of the seizures as follows; one 100 pieces of Black Tornado single barrel rifle, 75 pieces Silver Magnum single barrel rifles, 50 pieces of Alter Pump Action rifles, 215 pieces of Black single barrel rifles, 164 pieces of rifle Nozzles, 103 pieces of arms rips, 110 pieces of Trigger.
Others are: 113 pieces Arm Guard, 107 pieces of Bridge Block, 122 pieces of Allen Keys, 117 pieces of Assemble Butt and 516 5OKG bags of POP cement. Speaking on the development, the command’s spokesman, Mr. Uche Ejieseme, said investigation into owners of the consignment will continue, after which the container will handed over to the relevant authority. The NCS had on January 22, 2017, had arrested a Mack truck with registration number BDG 265 XG conveying a 1x40ft container with number: PONU/825914/3 before it was intercepted along Mile 2-Apapa road in Lagos.
The truck was immediately taken to the premises of FOU Zone A, Ikeja where physical examination revealed 49 boxes containing a total number of 661 pieces of pump action rifles concealed with steel doors and other merchandise goods.