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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Customs intercepts over 800 guns from importers

By News Desk

The Nigerian Customs Services has arrested no fewer than three suspects linked with at least nine 40-feet containers intercepted after they were discovered to be laden with imported items banned by the Federal Government from gaining entrance into the country through the Rivers State Port.

Items discovered in the containers estimated to worth about ₦13.9 billion include arms and ammunition as well as illicit drugs and foreign-used clothes imported from Turkey.

A breakdown of the 844 assorted arms and 112,500 ammunition impounded from the suspects showed that 764 Tomahawk Jojef Magnum Black Pump Action Rifles; 10 VC Verney Caron Gunmakers Jojef Magnum Silver Pump Action Rifles and 50 VC Verney Caron Gunmaker Double Barrel Rifles.

Others were 20 VC Verney Caron Gunmaker Single Barrel Rifles and Exclusive Series, Sterling High-Quality Live Ammunition 34g – 25 Plastic Shotgun Shells (70MM).

The Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, displayed the intercepted weapons and drugs to journalists at Onne port, on Monday, stated that the law enforcement agency had been on the trail of the consignments after leaving Turkey.

Adeniyi revealed that the 40 feet container with registration number MAEU165396 originated in Türkiye with the importers aiming to bypass the Customs Officers at the ports.

The Customs boss noted that the three importers were apprehended while attempting to circumvent protocol and on inspection, the illegal items were discovered in them.

He explained that rifles and ammunition were concealed by the importers using various items such as doors, furniture, plumbing fittings, and leather bags.

The Comptroller General further revealed that the duty-paid value of the containers by the importers was over N4 billion, saying the three importers are in custody while investigations are on to decipher the circumstances surrounding the shipment.

“In a related development, however, the Service also displayed eight forty-foot containers that were intercepted by the Service and discovered to be carryingI. 1,050,000 bottles of CSC Cough Syrup with Codeine (100ml)II. 3,500,000 tablets of Trodol Benzhexol Tablets (5mg) III”.

According to him, over N9 billion was paid into the government coffers as duty levy for the containers conveying the drugs while the two containers laden with 720 bales of used clothes had N144 million paid by the importers

“The total duty-paid value of the nine displayed containers is over N13.9 billion”, the Customs boss added.

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