Acting on intelligence report, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on Monday night intercepted 440 pieces of Pump Action rifles at the Tin Can Island Port (TCIP) in Lagos. The import allegedly originated from Turkey.
Displaying the guns to newsmen at the TCIP Customs Command on Tuesday, the Coordinator of Customs Zone ‘A’, Assistant Comptroller-General, Monday Abueh, said that the rifles were concealed in a 40ft container with PONU210024 (1) 22G1 carrying POP powder used for house design.
The interception came barely three months after the Customs Federal Operations Unit (FOU) also intercepted 660 pieces of Pump Action rifles along the Apapa-Mile 2 Expressway in Lagos, also being conveyed in a 40ft container.
Abueh disclosed that the Customs whisked the container away even before declaration was made, and a suspect has already been apprehended in connection with the seizure. He disclosed that after the arrest, the container was transferred to the Enforcement Unit, where other security agencies were called in to inspect it.
“These are pump action of various designs”, Abueh told newsmen. “Based on intelligence report from the Tin Can Island Customs, Controller Bashir Yussuf, one of our best officers, was able to use the intelligence report and the container was identified and intercepted.
“There is no question of any officer releasing container here, it was intercepted even before declaration. We discovered that they used POP powder to conceal it in order to beat the Customs checks.
“We have one defendant but for the purpose of indemnity, we don’t intend to detain him for long because of security reasons. As for the consignee, we are still keeping it because investigations are still ongoing. We have about 440 pieces coming from Turkey.”
He added: “Prosecution of matters like this in Nigeria involves a lot of time to push out the culprits but our lawyers have all what it takes to prosecute those involved.”
Also, Yussuf explained that in addition to the 440 pieces of magnum brand Pump Action rifles, other accessories were found in the container, including Completely Knocked Down (CKD) rifles, some of which were manufactured in the United States and some in Italy.