Customs impounds guns, drones, others at MMA

Customs impounds guns, drones, others at MMA

Customs impounded another cache of arms and other military items illegally imported into the country from Turkiye through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.

 

Fifty-five pieces of unassembled Jojef Magnum (Tomahawk) semi-automatic shotgun and other military and para-military hardware and accoutrement were discovered on Wednesday, July 3, neatly packed and concealed inside other items in a container.

 

It was the second such seizure of illegally imported arms in 48 hours made known by Customs.

 

On Monday, July 1, a container with 844 rifles and 112,500 rounds of ammunition was intercepted at the Onne Port in Port Harcourt.

 

Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Adewale Adeniyi, who announced the latest arms seizure in Lagos, said: “Acting on credible intelligence from our local and international collaborators, on 19 June 2024, we deployed personnel to man all the exit points effectively and mandated our officers to conduct 100 per cent examination of all consignments.”

 

According to him, this led to the discovery of this shipment.

 

The items include 148 pieces of drones, 172 pieces of ballistic vests, one piece of ballistic helmet, eight pieces of walkie-talkies, and 9,172 pieces of military and para-military badges.

 

Other seized items are 20 pieces of camouflage uniform, 100 pieces of camouflage vests, 172 pieces of Camouflage caps and 120 pieces of binoculars.

 

The total payable duty value on the items is N1.56billion.

 

One suspect has been arrested in connection with the criminal act, Adeniyi added.

 

Recently, Customs impounded 11 rifles and six pistols among other items at the airport in Lagos.

 

On what will be done with the seized items, Adeniyi said: “Relying on the relevant provisions of the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023, the following decisions have been taken on the illicit items:

 

“The 55 pieces of unassembled Jojef Magnum semi-automatic shotgun are hereby seized, with the concealing items.

 

“The items would be handed over to the Coordinator of the National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons, under the office of the National Security Adviser, for diligent investigation and prosecution.

 

“The suspect arrested will be handed over to the centre for further processing.

 

“We will work diligently with other agencies of government to apprehend all other parties to this illicit importation.

 

“All other controlled items imported without the requisite end-user certificates are hereby seized.

 

“Officers whose diligence, integrity and dedication to duty resulted in this remarkable seizure would be adequately rewarded in a manner provided by the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023.

 

“This seizure sends an unequivocal warning to anyone considering similar illicit importation.

 

“The Service is relentless in its pursuit of securing our national frontiers and fostering national security.

 

“Under my leadership, the Service will not condone any act that threatens this nation’s national security and economic prosperity.”