The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted 1100 rifles in Lagos which was initially declared by the importer as wash hand basin and water closets.
Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC) Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd) told journalists that the guns, concealed in a 20-foot container with number GESU2555208, were seized by the Area Controller Tin-Can Island Customs Command Mr Bashar Yusuf .
He said the guns were shipped into the country by the scrupulous importer from Turkey and a senior officer of the service who allegedly authorised the cutting of the seal on the container and one of the clerks working in the terminal where the container was discharged have been arrested and undergoing investigation.
A Vessel MV Bella Shuttle of 01-01-2017, Col Ali said, brought the 600 Jojef Magnum Pump Action Rifles, 300 Jojef Magnum Silver Pump Action rifles and 200 Jojef Magnum Plastic Single Barrels Hubting gun pump action rifles into the country.
The seizure, the Comptroller-General said, is the third in the series of arms seizures within eight months of this year, and commended his dedicated officers and men for their triumph over those he said ” do not wish this country well.”
Ali warned that any Customs officer involved in the release of suspected containers would henceforth, be arrested, paraded the way the police parade suspected criminals and charge to court for prosecution.
He said, “The audacity of these criminals to think that they can succeed in smuggling such quantity of dealt weapons into the country, calls or all round responsibilities. Shipping agencies and terminal operators must wake up to support the Customs to nip in the bud attempts to smuggle such dangerous items into the country.
“As you may already be aware, the previous cases of 661 pump action rifles from Apapa and 440 pump action riles from this command seized earlier in the year are already in court. W.e look forward to justice being served to deter other would-be arm smugglers.
” Already, one officer of the Service alleged to have authorised the cutting of the seal and the terminal clerk have been arrested and are undergoing investigation. NCS under my leadership will do all that is possible to fish out all toes remotely connected to this devilish importation. We shall bring them to justice.”
Ali said the seizure was a testimony that a well reformed and intelligence driven Nigeria Customs Service “will better serve the interest of the nation.”
He assured Nigerians that the management of the Service will continue to reposition and fine-tune operational strategies of the Service in-line with the Federal Government’s drive towards new and better ways of serving the people.WorldStage Newsonline