Tincan Customs command raises alarm on arms proliferation, calls for vigilance
The Controller of Customs at Tincan Port, Mr. Yusuf Bashir has warned Nigerians involving themselves in importation of absolutely banned items including arms and ammunitions to desist from the act as the command has all it takes to swoop on them during examinations.
Addressing journalists on Monday in his conference room, he displayed several dangerous weapons and hard military wares found in one of the containers shipped from the United States of America (USA).
Two vehicles were involved in the arms concealment. The first was a 2004 model Toyota car with Chasis no: 2D1B232E54C3 which on examination was discovered to be carrying Harndi 40 S/W 10 rounds ammunition in a magazine.
Another startling discovery was made on a sports utility vehicle inside container no: MSCU 718443/6 also coming from USA with Chasis no: 5N1AA08A69N709779 (2007 model).
During examination, Basher disclosed that the items declared as personal effects, were smartly parked to a suspicious level, thus prompting his order for more intelligent examination which yielded the discovery of several weapons that are all high military caliber in nature.
Some of the items discovered in the jeep include 1 Omni American tactical rifle no: AR48634, 1 Moasberg American long pump action with production number; U648018.
Others include Premier hollow point air grid pallet numbering 3,500, another brand also number 4,000, military kits, 96 military bullet proof, one military helmet, military gas mask with two pairs of glasses, pistol pang, two pairs of military boots, military already made packaged food, and 4,000 air gun pallets.
Giving graphic details on how his command smoked out the arms concealment from the cars, worried Bashir said this is time for all Nigerians to take security of the nation very seriously, noting that “With this kind of imports, there is serious danger in the land”.
“We all know that gas mask means that the owner is going for mass destruction when kitted and that means that nobody is safe in the process.
He revealed that his command tracked the vehicle for 42 days, saying his command has already raised its examination alertness and intelligence enforcement and is ready to deal with the criminal elements who want to destroy the nations for selfish reasons.
He added that since his deployment to the command, “this is the fourth seizure of arms recalling that the command recently swooped on imported packaged food including egusi soup, jolof rice and many other ready-to-eat food items.
Elated Bashir also told journalists of several commendation letters from Customs High Command to his command following several seizures made in recent times including the seizure of substances suspected to be cocaine worth over N2b and others.
According to him, the award and commendation letter was for his commands ‘Timely use of intelligence on duty’.
He also said before this particular seizure, his officers and men had swooped on 900 pieces of ammunitions, one pistol, two other rifles and bullets, military kits and uniforms.
On why he has been recording successes, basher linked the progress made under his leadership to the blossoming inter-agency relationship which he first built on arrival at the command.
He said his command is working very well with other agencies of the government for the safety of nation at the Tincan port.
All the seized arms and ammunitions and one suspect, Mr. Christen Mbachi who was veiled were handed over to the head of the Directorate of Security Service (DSS) at the Tincan Port.