The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has again uncovered 1,100 pump action rifles concealed in a 20-foot container smuggled into the country.
Operatives of Tin Can Island Command of Customs, Lagos who made the discovery, claimed that the weapons may have been brought in from Turkey.
The weapons were concealed inside a container which Bill of Laden indicated was conveying wash hand basins.
The seized arms include 600 pieces of Jojef Magnum black pump action, 300 pieces of Jojef Magnum silver pump action and 209 pieces of Jojef Magnum Plastic single barrels hunting gun pump action rifles.
Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, who made this disclosure when he briefed newsmen on the development on Monday, said that a Customs officer who allegedly cut the seal of the container without following due process and a clerk at the command had already been arrested in connection with the discovery.
He said, “On the 6th of September, 2017 operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service intelligence unit on a routine monitoring of activities across the terminals discovered a 1x20ft container with number, GESU2555208 which was not previously listed for examination, positioned with other containers for the day’s examination.
“They also observed that the seal of this unlisted container had already been cut and padlocked. The container became suspect and had to be immediately transferred to the Enforcement unit.
“Importation of 1,100 rifles at a time when the nation is undergoing some security challenges is a clear indication that there are indeed some elements who do not believe in the unity, peace and well being of Nigeria.
“The audacity of these criminals to think that they can succeed in smuggling such quantity of deadly weapons into the country, calls for all round responsibilities.”
In January this year, Customs seized a truck carrying a container of 49 boxes containing 661 Ak 47 rifles in Lagos.
It had also later in May, intercepted 440 pieces of riffles at Tin Can Island Port.