By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
Following increase in the number of arms seizures in recent times, the Customs Area Controller of Tincan Island Port ordered a detailed profile of all imports, especially those coming from the same source with previous seizures.
A statement signed by the Comptroller-General, Nigeria Customs Service, Colonel Hammed Ali informed that the profile of containers from Turkey eventually narrowed down to one 20ft container No. CMAU189817/8.
It explained that the Terminal Operator was consequently directed to quarantine the flagged container for stricter analysis.
“It was later transferred to the enforcement unit, where 100% examination revealed 470 pump action rifles as against elbow plumbing plastics on its bill of lading.
“Importer of this deadly cargo is Great James Oil and Gas Ltd, while the vessel is MV Arkas Africa owned by Hull Blyth.
“This discovery brings to a total of 2671 rifles seized within the last eight months of this year,” it added.
The statement noted that while the audacity of these criminals to think that they can succeed in smuggling these dangerous weapons into the country successfully remain worrisome, the consolation is that, the new Nigeria Customs Service is now more responsive and capable of meeting the challenges posed by these criminals.
“This is what the present Government requires of all citizens. We must rise up and remain vigilant to deal decisively with the enemies of the Nation.
“As our seaports become increasingly impenetrable, we suspect they may want to try other entry points. Let me assure Nigerians that the Service is presently at CRITICAL ALERT following my directive to all Customs Area Controllers yesterday. We will do all in our powers to further secure this country.
“The policy of reward for good deeds and punishment for those who compromise will continue in the Service under my leadership.
“Since this container belong to the same importer of the 1,100 rifles, the ongoing investigation will be reinvigorated to fish out all those directly or remotely connected with these dangerous importers.
“Finally, I call on well-meaning Nigerians to support the Service by providing information that will help us perform even better,” it appealed.