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Again, Nigerian Customs seizes massive automatic weapons from Turkey

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There is a strong need for the Nigerian government to flag Turkey as a country considering the recent rounds of seizures of lethal weapons form the nation to Nigeria. This is the submission of some defence analysts who spoke to our correspondent.

After the one of Tin Can Island port, it was the turn of Onne Port and only Wednesday, July 3, 2024, it was at Ikeja International Airport Command to showcase cartons of arms and ammunition all from Turkey.

Addressing media excutives in Ikeja, the CG of Customs, Bashir Adeniyi said “We are gathered here this afternoon to showcase another significant success of our resolve to secure our national frontiers and to foster national security.

“You may recall that the Nigeria Customs TCIP Command recently impounded 11 rifles and 6 pistols, among other items. Similarly, just two days ago, a press briefing of this kind was held in Port Harcourt, where we showcased the seizure of 844 rifles and 112,500 rounds of ammunition. In a related development, we are here again to inform the public that the Murtala Muhammed Area Command, acting on credible intelligence from our local and international collaborators, on 19 June 2024, deployed its personnel to man all the exit points effectively and mandated all examination officers to conduct 100% examination of all consignments.

“During the examination, an item was discovered and suspected to be part of a rifle from a console consignment with airway bill number 235-58737755, emanating from Turkey. Consequently, the entire consignment was isolated for thorough examination. At the end of the examination, it was established that 4 packages were used to conceal 55 PIECES OF UNASSEMBLED JOJEF MAGNUM (TOMAHAWK) SEMI AUTOMATIC SHOTGUN. The unassembled rifles were concealed using SHOWER FAUCET. The Duty Paid Value of these illicit arms is Two Hundred and Seventy Million, Eight Hundred and Eighty-Eight Thousand, One Hundred and Nine Naira and Twenty-Nine Kobo (N270, 888, 109.29).

“A suspect is currently in our custody in connection with this illicit arms importation and is assisting with an ongoing investigation to uncover the perpetrators of this heinous crime.

“Analysis of this and similar recent seizures indicates that some unscrupulous Nigerians based in Turkey are purchasing, packaging and exporting these illicit arms to Nigeria. Intelligence further revealed that they are exploring new frontiers to perpetrate their nefarious activities. Still, I can assure Nigerians that all our Commands are on red alert to intercept any such illicit arms importation.

“Also, on display this afternoon are some Military and Paramilitary accoutrements improperly imported without end users’ certificates with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of One Billion, Two Hundred and Ninety-Eight Million, Nineteen Thousand, Two Hundred and Seventy-Six Naira and Ninety-One Kobo (N1,298,019,276.91) only.

“The breakdown of these items is as follows:

  1. Drones                                                 148pcs
  2. Ballistic Vest                                          172pcs

III.                Ballistic Plate                                         15pcs

  1. Ballistic Helmet                         1pc
  2. Walkie Talkie                                         8pcs
  3. Military &Paramilitary Badges.   9,172pcs

VII.              Camouflage Uniform                             20pcs

VIII.             Camouflage Vest                                   100pcs

  1. Camouflage Cap                                    172pcs
  2. Binoculars                                               120pcs

The total Duty Paid Value of all the displayed items is One Billion Five Hundred and Sixty-Eight Million Nine Hundred and Seven Thousand Three Hundred and Eighty-Six Naira and 48 Kobo (N1,568,907,386.48) only.

“Relying on the relevant provisions of the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023, the following decisions have been taken on the illicit items.

  1. The 55 pieces of unassembled JOJEF MAGNUM SEMI AUTOMATIC SHOTGUN are hereby seized, with the concealing items.
  2. 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.

III.                  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.

  1. All other controlled items imported without the requisite end-user certificates are hereby seized.
  2. 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.
  3. In closing, I would like to extend my heartfelt commendation to Customs Area Comptroller MMAC, MT AWE and his dedicated officers and men for these interceptions. Their unwavering professionalism and commitment are truly commendable. I also wish to express our deep gratitude to our various partners, both local and international, who provided invaluable intelligence that was crucial for this interception.

The CG added that “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.

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