Operatives from the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) have seized a total of 1,245 live rounds of ammunition, which were craftily concealed within 20 bags of foreign rice that had been intercepted.
The information was revealed during a press conference held earlier today by the Controller of the Commander Comptroller Bamidele Makinde, in Abeokuta.
The drivers, who were believed to have received advance information about the movements of our personnel, managed to flee through the nearby wooded area in an attempt to avoid being captured.
According to him, “On Friday, the 11th day of August, 2023, the Command received credible intelligence on a planned smuggling of prohibited items into the country from Republic of Benin, by unscrupulous elements. We swang into action by deploying our operatives on 24 hours surveillance to thwart their nefarious activities.
“At about 0024 hours on Friday, 12th August, 2023, the Roving B Team of the Command intercepted five old vehicles, (Toyota Camry with Chassis No. 4TIBG22KIWU312145, Toyota Camry with Chassis No. 4TIXK1263NU108237 and three Mazda 626 cars with Chassis Nos. JM2GD14H201568566, JMZGF14F201173029 and JMZGF14P20141862 respectively), loaded with 203 bags of foreign parboiled rice of 50kg each abandoned in a bush path at Tobolo Junction, close to an exit point to the Republic of Benin, and near Ijoun, Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State, Nigeria. The drivers who were suspected to have been hinted at the movement of our operatives, escaped through the bush of the said area, in order to evade arrest.
“During examination of the seized vehicles and the item, about 1,245 rounds of 70mm (2¾“) live ammunition of Lion, Trust, Supreme and Redstar branded cartridges were found to have been ingeniously concealed in 20 bags of the intercepted foreign rice. While considering the potential danger of ammunition of such magnitude if successfully smuggled in, we redouble our efforts to ensure they do not find their way into the country. It is a threat to safety of the border communities and national security. We are committed to ensuring maximum security of our border lines with all sense of patriotism.”
Makinde noted that the combined Duty Paid Value (DPV) of the confiscated ammunition and rice amounts to N17,638,145.00 adding that the items have been securely stored, awaiting subsequent actions as required.
He hinted that an investigation is ongoing to uncover the responsible cartel behind the attempted illegal transportation of these goods, with the intention of making arrests and pursuing legal prosecution.