• Tue. Jul 16th, 2024

In a significant operation to secure the nation’s borders and ensure public safety, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has announced the seizure of illegal arms, ammunition, and other contraband with a total duty-paid value of ₦13,915,710,000. This announcement was made by the Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, during a press conference at the Port Harcourt Area II Command, Onne, on 1 July 2024.

Highlighting the key operation, Adeniyi revealed the interception of a 40-foot container, MAEU165396, originating from Turkey, which contained alarming quantities of weapons and ammunition. The container was thoroughly examined on 21 June 2024, uncovering:

– 844 units of rifles
– 112,500 pieces of live ammunition

The detailed breakdown of the rifles included:

– 764 units of Tomahawk Jojef Magnum Black Pump Action Rifles
– 10 units of VC Verney Caron Gunmakers Jojef Magnum Silver Pump Action Rifles
– 50 units of VC Verney Caron Gunmaker Double Barrel Rifles
– 20 units of VC Verney Caron Gunmaker Single Barrel Rifles

The contraband was concealed among doors, furniture, plumbing fittings, and leather bags. The duty-paid value of this container alone was ₦4,171,710,000.

In connection with this seizure, three suspects have been detained, and a thorough investigation is underway to ensure all involved parties face legal consequences. The seized items will be handed over to the Coordinator of the National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons for further investigation and prosecution.

In a separate development, on 29 June 2024, NCS officers intercepted eight additional containers en route to a bonded warehouse from Onne Port. The containers, identified as TCKU6879285, CMAU5985012, CMAU7515384, CMAU4297020, SEKU5488437, BMOU4363156, MRKU4616024, and MRSU3068928, contained:

– Six containers with:
– 1,050,000 bottles of CSC Cough Syrup with Codeine (100ml)
– 3,500,000 tablets of Trodol Benzhexol Tablets (5mg)
– Duty-paid value: ₦9,600,000,000

– Two containers with:
– 720 bales of used clothes
– Duty-paid value: ₦144,000,000

The total duty-paid value of these nine containers is ₦13,915,710,000.

In accordance with the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023, the following actions have been taken:

– The 40-foot container with arms and ammunition has been seized, and the contents will be handed over for further investigation and prosecution.
– The eight containers with wrongly declared contents to evade duty payment have also been seized.
– Licenses and permits of the warehouses, terminals, and Customs Agents involved are suspended pending investigation.
– Customs officers found complicit in these illegal activities will face heavy sanctions, while those upholding their oaths will be duly rewarded.

The Comptroller General praised the Customs Area Comptroller Onne Port, Mohammed Babandede, and his team for their meticulous efforts. He also acknowledged the support from local and international partners that contributed to the success of these operations.

Adeniyi concluded with a stern warning to those contemplating similar illegal activities, stating that the Nigeria Customs Service will not tolerate any actions that compromise the nation’s economy and security.

“The Nigeria Customs Service, under my leadership, will not tolerate any action that compromises the economy and security of our beloved nation,” Adeniyi affirmed.

Hyacinth Beluchukwu Nwafor

Hyacinth Beluchukwu Nwafor is a seasoned journalist and the CEO/Founder Belch Digital Communications, publishers of Hybrid News Nigeria.

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