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By: Timothy Paul Okorocha


Arms being handed over to an official from the Directorate of small arms control

No fewer that 55 pieces of unassembled semi-automatic short guns/ rifles as well as some military and para-military accoutrements worth more than N1, 568,907,386.48 improperly imported without end users’ certificates have been seized by the Murtala Muhammed Area command in Lagos.

The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, MFR, disclosed to newsmen today while handing over the seized military wares to respective agencies of the government.

He told journalists and other stakeholders present that the Murtala Muhammed Area command, acting on credible intelligence from local and international collaborators on June 19, 2024 deployed its personnel to man all the exit points effectively and mandated all examination officers to conduct 100 percent examination of all consignments.

CG Adeniyi reading his Press statement

During the examination, an item was discovered and suspected to be part of a rifle from a console consignment with airway bill number 235-58737755, emanating from Turkey. Consequently, the entire consignment was isolated for thorough examination. At the end of the examination, it was established that 4 packages were used to conceal 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 is Two Hundred and Seventy Million, Eight Hundred and Eighty-Eight Thousand, One Hundred and Nine Naira and Twenty-Nine Kobo (N270, 888, 109.29).

National PRO-Maiwada in a discussion with the CG

A suspect is currently in our custody in connection with this illicit arms importation and is assisting with an ongoing investigation to uncover the perpetrators of this heinous crime.

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, he assured Nigerians that all our Commands are on red alert to intercept any such illicit arms importation.

The seized arms

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 One Billion Five Hundred and Sixty-Eight Million Nine Hundred and Seven Thousand Three Hundred and Eighty-Six Naira and 48 Kobo (N1,568,907,386.48) only.

You may recall that the Nigeria Customs TCIP Command recently impounded 11 rifles and 6 pistols, among other items. Similarly, just two days ago, a press briefing of this kind was held in Port Harcourt, where we showcased the seizure of 844 rifles and 112,500 rounds of ammunition.

In a related development, we are here again to inform the public that the Murtala Muhammed Area Command, acting on credible intelligence from our local and international collaborators, on 19 June 2024, deployed its personnel to man all the exit points effectively and mandated all examination officers to conduct 100% examination of all consignments.

Officers cutting across military and paramilitary agencies at the briefing

In closing, he said 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.

He 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. He said 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.

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