Barely three months after the mystery seizure of a container laden with 661 pump action rifles at the Apapa port, the scenario has repeated itself at the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) intercepted a total of four hundred and forty (440) pieces of assorted Pump Action Riffles at the Tin Can Island Port.
The 1 x 20ft container was said to have been declared by the importer as a consignment with antisera and cannule (chemical formular).
Speaking with Journalists at the Enforcement section of the Command, the Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Bashar Yusuf who introduced the subject to the media, stated that the seizure was effected through intelligence which necessitated the segregation of the 1 x 20ft container to the Enforcement Unit for physical examination.
Meanwhile, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali has commended the controller for the spectacular seizure and described the Area Controller as a quintessential officer who has been contributing immensely to the success story of the Service.
Col. Ali who was represented by the Zonal Co-ordinator Zone ‘A’, ACG ABUE, M. N (mni) confirmed the earlier assertion by the Area Controller that the seizure was based on intelligence.
The Customs Area Controller gave the breakdown of the seizures as follows;
i. ONE HUNDRED (100) PIECES BLACK TORNADO SINGLE BARREL RIFLES.
ii. SEVENTY-FIVE (75) PIECES SILVER MAGNUM SINGLE BARREL RIFLES.
iii. FIFTY (50) PIECES OF ALTER PUMP ACTION RIFLES.
iv. TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTEEN (215) PIECES BLACK SINGLE BARREL RIFLES.
v. ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY FOUR (164) PIECES OF RIFLE NOZZLE.
vi. ONE HUNDRED AND THREE (103) PIECES OF ARMS GRIPS.
vii. ONE HUNDRED AND TEN (110) PIECES OF TRIGGER.
viii. ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTEEN (113) PIECES OF ARM GUARD.
ix. ONE HUNDRED AND SEVEN (107) PIECES OF BRIDGE BLOCK.
x. ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-TWO (122) PIECES OF ALLEN KEYS.
xi. ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTEEN (117) PIECES OF ASSEMBLE BUTT
xii. FIVE HUNDRED AND SIXTEEN (516) 5OKG BAGS OF POP CEMENT.
Responding to questions from the media on the circumstance surrounding the seizure, the Customs Area Controller said that the importer declared the consignment as antisera and cannule (chemical formular).
He stated that based on intelligence, the 1 x 20ft container No. PONU 210024/1 was brought down to the Enforcement Unit of the Command, where a 100% physical examination was conducted which revealed all the items mentioned earlier.
The CAC added that investigation was still ongoing with a view to unraveling those behind the importation and that further profiling of the importer would be carried out to get other details.
Meanwhile the management of SIFAX Group has debunked claims by some online news media that the container load of arms was intercepted at Ports & Cargo Terminal, Tin Can Island Port, which is a subsidiary of SIFAX.
“Let me quickly put on record that the news report is totally false, untrue and misleading. Our findings have shown that the said container was released from another terminal and was headed for an Off-Dock terminal, before it was intercepted by the Nigerian Customs Service on the port access road close to our terminal. Ports & Cargo terminal doesn’t own the port access road and how we are linked to this beats our imagination”, the report said.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) is hosting a 3-day conference of African Director Generals of Customs in Abuja, where security issues affecting ports in the African region are expected to be addressed.