A truckload of pump-action rifles imported through the Lagos ports was intercepted by government authorities yesterday.
The Marc truck containing 49 boxes with a total number of 661 pieces of pump-action rifles and concealed as steel doors was impounded by the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS).
Comptroller-general of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (retd), who gave details of the seizure at a press conference in Lagos, yesterday, said the contraband 40ft container was intercepted along Apapa Mile 2 Road on January 22, 2017 by officers of the service, Federal Operations Unit (A), Ikeja.
He said three men linked to the illegal import had been arrested.
“On Sunday 22nd January, 2017, the roving team of the NCS Federal Operations Unit (FOU), while on information patrol, intercepted a Mack truck with registration number BDG 265 XG conveying a 1x40ft container with number: PONU/825914/3 along Mile 2 Apapa road.
“The truck was immediately taken to the premises of FOU (A), Ikeja, where physical examination revealed 49 boxes containing a total number of 661 pieces of pump-action rifles concealed with steel doors and other merchandise goods.
“These rifles are under absolute prohibition; therefore, its importation is illegal. Such deadly contravention of the law is even more unacceptable considering the fragile security situation in some parts of the country.
“Already, three suspects have been arrested in connection with this illegal importation. They are 51-year-old Mr Oscar Okafor who is the importer; 56-year-old Mahmud Hassan, a clearing agent, and a 28- year-old Sadique Mustapha who was found accompanying the consignment to its destination,” ,” Col Ali said.
“This seizure underscores the determination of the service to enforce all laws relating to the importation and exportation of goods into and out of Nigeria, thereby contributing to the economy, security and wellbeing of the country.
“This feat is also no doubt commendable and represents the new normal in the Service where most officers and men are, on a daily basis, working to ensure that all illegalities are not allowed go unchecked.”
He commended the comptroller of the Lagos State command and all officers and men involved in the seizure of the arms for their good work.