The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted a container loaded with 1,100 riffles at Tin Can port, Apapa, Lagos state, marking the third seizure within eight months.
It would be recalled that the Tin Can command had previously intercepted no fewer than 1,101 pump action riffles in two different operations at the port.
The Controller-General, NCS, Col. Hameed Ali (retd), disclosed the interception during his visit to the port on Monday where he inspected the seized container which contained the discovered rifles.
Ali narrated that the riffles were discovered in a 20-feet container with number GESU2555208, which previously was not listed for the day examination before been intercepted by NCS intelligence unit.
He said: “The intelligence unit also observed that the seal of this unlisted container, which was conveyed by Vessel MV Bella shuttle, had already been cut and padlocked. this further made the container become suspect and they had to immediately transfer it to enforcement unit.
“The bill of lading falsely indicates the content as wash hand basin and water closets, but thorough examination revealed that it contained Jojef Magnum Black Pump Action Riffles (600pcs), Jojef Magnum Silver Pump Action Riffles (300pcs) and Jojef Magnum Plastic Single Barrels Hunting gun Pump Action Riffles (200pcs).
“This particular seizure being the third in the series of arms intercepted within 8 months this year, present an all time high of NCS triumph over evil forces,” he added.
The controller hinted that one of the officers allegedly authorised cutting of the seal and a terminal clerk have been arrested, saying, they are currently been investigated.
Ali added that suspects in two previous container intercepted earlier in the year have been arraigned, to serve as deterrent to others arms smugglers.
He assured Nigerians that the Customs under his watch would ensure that everyone connected to the importation are arrested and prosecuted.
Ali lamented that importation of the riffles came at a time when Nigeria was undergoing security challenges, further indicated that some citizens were against unity and harmonious relationship in the country.
He noted that the seizure further testified that a reformed and intelligence driven Customs would serve the country better and prevent importation of armful materials into the country.
The controller urged Shipping agencies and Terminal operators to brace up and support the customs in preventing any attempt to smuggle such dangerous items into Nigeria.