Arms haul at Lagos Port
•Customs finds guns in pop cement container
- 100 pieces of Black Tornado single barrel rifles
- 75 pieces of Silver Magnum single barrel rifles
- 50 Alter Pump Action rifles
- 215 Black single barrel rifles
- 164 rifle nozzles
- 103 Arms Grips
- 110 Triggers
- 113 Arm Guards
- 107 Bridge Block
- 122 Allen keys
- 117 Assemble Butt
- 516 50kg bags of pop cement
A cache of arms in a container has been found at the Tin Can Island Port in Lagos.
The Zonal Coordinator of Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Asst. Comptroller-General Monday Abue, told reporters yesterday that the guns were imported from Turkey.
A suspect is being held in connection with the seizure, he added. His identity was not disclosed.
The guns were concealed in a 20ft container with Registration Number PONU210024 (1) 22G1, covered by bags of POP powder used for design of houses.
The importer declared the consignment as ANTISERA AND CANNULE (CHEMICAL FORMULA.)
This is the second time in three months that such a seizure has been made at the ports in Lagos.
Three months ago, the Federal Operations Unit (FOU) of the Customs intercepted 660 pieces of pump action rifles at the Apapa port.
The Customs intercepted the container following a tip-off of the Tin Can Island Customs Command. The container was taken away by the Customs before a declaration was made by the importer’s clearing agent.
Customs, it was learnt, intercepted the container on Monday and transferred it to its enforcement unit where other security agencies were called in to inspect it.
Abue said: “These are pump action of various designs. Based on intelligence report of the Tin Can Island Customs under Controller Bashir Yussuf, the container was identified and intercepted. There is no question of any officer releasing container here; it was intercepted even before declaration.
”We discovered that they used POP powder to conceal it in order to beat the Customs checks.
”We have one defendant, but for the purpose of indemnity, we don’t intend to detain him for long because of security reasons. As of the consignee, we are still keeping it under wraps because investigation is still ongoing. We have about 440 pieces coming from Turkey,” Abue said.
”Prosecution of matters like this in Nigeria involve a lot of time to push out the culprits but our lawyers have all what it takes to prosecute those involved.”
The Tin Can Island Customs chief said apart from the 440 pieces of pump action magnum brand, other accessories of the guns were found inside the container.
Bashr gave the breakdown of the seized items as follows:
- 100 pieces of black tornado single barrel rifles.
- 75 pieces of silver magnum single barrel rifles.
- 50 pieces alter pump action rifles.
- 215 pieces of black single barrel rifles.
- 164 pieces of rifle nozzle.
- 103 pieces of arms grips.
- 110 pieces of trigger.
- 113 pieces arm guard.
- 107 pieces of bridge block.
- 122 pieces allen keys.
- 117 pieces of assemble butt and
- 516 5Okg bags of POP cement.
He added that there was a Completely Knocked Down (CKD) pump action inside the consignment.
Some of the guns were manufactured in the United States and Italy, but were shipped into Nigeria from Turkey.
“There are other accessories inside the container, several parts dismantled but definitely to be reassembled (CKD). Investigations would go deeper so as to know where the factory for arms assemblage is located in Nigeria,” Abue said, adding:
“Generally, anytime we have interceptions like this, it requires a lot of intelligence and profiling of importers. The 21st century calls for that, you don’t have to wait for things to start happening before you start working.
“POP is a very safe item to conceal weapons because it is not injurious to anyone. It is mainly used after effect of building. It is an attempt to distract the Customs attention, but whatever anyone might use, it would attract our attention,” he assured.