Customs Intercepts Cache Of Arms, Ammunition Imported From Turkey At Onne Port

The comptroller-general of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Bashir Adewale Adeniyi on Monday, announced the interception of a container laden with arms, ammunition imported into the country from Turkey.

Speaking in Onne, Rivers State, the CG, said the 40-footer container with numbers, MAEU165396, contained pump action rifles and ammunition worth N4.17 billion .

He stated that, based on the number of risk factors associated with the importation, it became a subject of interest for the Customs Service and that led to thorough examination of the container which revealed that the container contained 844 units of rifles and 112,500 pieces of live ammunition.

“The breakdown of the arms and ammunition in the container are as follows:
764 units of Tomahawk Jojef Magnum Black Pump Action Rifles; 10 units of VC Verney Caron Gunmakers Jojef Magnum Silver Pump Action Rifles; 50 units of VC Verney Caron Gunmaker Double Barrel Rifles;
20 units of VC Verney Caron Gunmaker Single Barrel Rifles; Exclusive Series, Sterling High-Quality Live Ammunition 34g – 25 Plastic Shotgun Shells (70MM),” Adeniyi stated.

“The breakdown of the arms and ammunition in the container are as follows:
764 units of Tomahawk Jojef Magnum Black Pump Action Rifles; 10 units of VC Verney Caron Gunmakers Jojef Magnum Silver Pump Action Rifles; 50 units of VC Verney Caron Gunmaker Double Barrel Rifles;
20 units of VC Verney Caron Gunmaker Single Barrel Rifles; Exclusive Series, Sterling High-Quality Live Ammunition 34g – 25 Plastic Shotgun Shells (70MM),” Adeniyi stated.

The rifles and ammunition, according to the Customs boss, were concealed using various items such as doors, furniture, plumbing fittings, and leather bags.

The Customs boss who further stated that the duty-paid value of the single container is N4.17 billion said three suspects were arrested in connection with the seizure.

“We have followed its sail across continents and we have benefitted immensely from credible information through our collaboration with intelligence communities both at local, national and international levels.

“The importer tried to circumvent our procedure through the outlet of a private bonded terminal. On Friday 21st of June 2024, the auspicious container was subjected to thorough physical examination, ” the Customs boss said.

In another development, the Customs CG said officers, through intelligence sharing, on Saturday, 29 June 2024, intercepted another 8×40-foot container on transit to a bonded warehouse from Onne Port.
The container numbers are TCKU6879285; CMAU5985012; CMAU7515384; CMAU4297020; SEKU5488437, BMOU4363156; MRKU4616024, and MRSU3068928.

Upon examination, they were found to contain the following, “1,050,000 bottles of CSC Cough Syrup with Codeine (100ml)

3,500,000 tablets of Trodol Benzhexol Tablets (5mg) worth N9.6bn. Two containers laden with 720 bales of used clothes With Duty-paid value, N144 million.

“The total duty-paid value of the nine displayed containers is N13.9 billion.”

Speaking further, Adeniyi said, the licences and permits issued for the operation of all the Warehouses and Terminals as well as those of their Customs Agents involved in these cases have been suspended pending the determination of their involvement.

He also said that Customs Officers who are found complicit in the perpetration of these nefarious acts would be heavily sanctioned in a manner that would be approved by the Board of the Nigeria Customs Service.

“In the same vein, he said officers who kept faith with the Oath of allegiance to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and refused to be bribed into releasing these containers will be adequately rewarded in a manner provided by the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023.

“Let me warmly commend the professional commitment of the Customs Area Comptroller Onne Port, Mohammed Babandede and through him his Officers and Men, for the meticulous approach deployed to this operation. I also acknowledge our various partners, local and international who provided us the much needed information to successfully prosecute this operation.

“Finally, this seizure serves as a strong warning to others who may be contemplating similar misadventures, my message to them is simple; we will run you out of business. The Nigeria Customs Service, under my leadership, will not tolerate any action that compromises the economy and security of our beloved nation,” Adeniyi concluded

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