The Acting Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, has highlighted the significant interceptions of arms and ammunition by the NCS in various commands on 16 July 2023.
Speaking in a media briefing held at the Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘A’ in Ikeja, Lagos, Adewale said the successful operations represent the NCS’s commitment to suppressing smuggling and safeguarding national security.
Speaking, Acting CGC Adeniyi expressed appreciation for the dedication and perseverance displayed by NCS officers in fulfilling their responsibilities while emphasizing that the NCS’s actions are driven by a deep sense of purpose and aligned with the vision of the President Tinubu-led Administration.
During a joint operation with the Nigeria Police, the Department of State Security, the National Drug Law Enforcement and Administration, and the Customs Intelligence Unit at the Ports Terminal and Multi Services Limited Command, a thorough examination of a 40ft container was conducted.
The inspection uncovered the concealed presence of 10 dangerous arms and various rounds of live ammunition inside plastic drums. The seized items included three new Pump Action rifles, one new unit of an armed rifle, six new pistols of different makes, 14 empty magazines, and 442 rounds of live ammunition.
On the 5th of July 2023, during a joint operation with the Nigeria Police, the Department of State Security, the National Drug Law Enforcement and Administration, and the Customs Intelligence Unit at the Ports Terminal and Multi Services Limited Command, a thorough physical examination of a 40ft container was conducted. The examination revealed the concealment of 10 dangerous arms and various rounds of live ammunition inside plastic drums. The details are: 3 new Pump Action rifles and one new unit of an armed rifle; 6 new different makes of pistols.
“One new millennium G2 pistol.
One new sarsilmaz SAR-9X pistol.
One new Lugger Security-9 pistol.
One new Taurus Banbridge G3C pistol.
One new SCCY CPX-2 pistol, and
One new Taurus (63 pistol), 14 empty magazines, 442 rounds of live ammunition.”
Two suspects, Mr Shokunbi Olanrewaju of Shooler Global International Ltd and Mr Joseph Nwadiodor, have been detained in connection with the seizure.
In the same vein, the Tincan Island Port Command, acting on credible intelligence, conducted a 100% physical examination of a 1x40ft container in collaboration with relevant security agencies.
He said, “Similarly, within the same period, the Tincan Island Port Command of the Service, while acting on credible intelligence; a 1x40ft container was also subjected to 100% physical examination with the relevant security agencies at the ports. The physical examination uncovered 18 arms, packets of cartridges and rounds of live ammunition inside plastic drums. The details are: 6 different makes of pistols
“Two (2) Sar9 Sarsilmarz Pistols
One (1) Ruger American Pistol And
Three (3) Taurus G3c – Bainbridge Pistols).
“12 different makes of riffles, Five (5) Rz17hd Rifles, One (1) Gamo Rifle,
Five (5) Pump Action Rifles And
One (1) Rz17 Tactical Rifle)
“10 packets of cartridges
2 packets of 9mm ammunition
100 rounds of 9mm Winchester ammunition
1 carton of Frontier cartridges
2 packets of Buckshot ammunition
The inspection revealed the presence of 18 arms, packets of cartridges, and rounds of live ammunition concealed within plastic drums.
The seized items included six different makes of pistols, twelve different makes of rifles, ten packets of cartridges, two packets of 9mm ammunition, 100 rounds of 9mm Winchester ammunition, one carton of Frontier cartridges, and two packets of Buckshot ammunition.
In a separate incident, officers of the Joint Border Patrol Team Sector 2 intercepted an unregistered Toyota Camry loaded with six sacks of charcoal along the Owode/Ajilete Axis of Ogun State. The vehicle was found to be concealing three pump-action rifles and 174 live cartridges. The driver managed to escape arrest by fleeing into the bush.
In total, thirty-one rifles have been intercepted within the first two weeks of July 2023. Investigations into these seizures are ongoing, and the NCS will hand over the outcome of their investigations, along with the seized items, to the appropriate authorities for further action.
Acting CGC Adeniyi emphasized the detrimental impact of illicit arms in the hands of non-state actors, contributing to the proliferation of small arms and ammunition and resulting in increased incidents of violent kidnappings, robberies, and mass killings.
He reassured compliant traders and importers that the NCS is committed to facilitating legitimate trade while tackling economic and security threats posed by non-compliant individuals and their agents.
Importers and agents were urged to make sincere declarations and adhere to import/export prohibition lists, while the public was encouraged to consider security as a collective responsibility.
The NCS expressed gratitude for any information regarding illegal importation and cross-border movement of dangerous weapons that could help protect the nation from harm.
The Nigeria Customs Service remains steadfast in its efforts to combat smuggling and ensure the safety and security of the country, aligning with the government’s overarching goals and contributing to the President Tinubu-led Administration’s vision of renewed hope.
According to hom, “Let me state at this point that the Service has re-strategized its operations, while our officers have raised their levels of professionalism, and have keyed into the mantra of renewed hope aimed at facilitating legitimate trade. In doing this, we are assuring all compliant traders and importers that they have nothing to fear.
“We have re-injected new tactics to tackle the economic and security menace caused by recalcitrant importers and their agents. The Service’s human resources and logistics are collectively harnessed to combat and prevent economic sabotage.
“I implore importers and agents to be patriotic by making sincere declarations, and to be properly guided by the import/export prohibition lists. I also urged the public to see security as a collective responsibility. We will appreciate information of illegal importation and cross border movement of dangerous weapons used to create mayhem in our nation,” he said.