Examination of seized arms container followed due process, says TICT

Customs seizes 1,100 rifles concealed in container

By Patience Danjuma 

The management of Tin Can Island Container Terminal (TICT) has said that contrary to media reports, the positioning and subsequent physical examination of a container of arms seized by the Nigeria Customs Service at the Tin Can Port followed due process. 

Legal Manager of TICT, Mrs. Maryann Olopade, said in a statement in Lagos on Thursday that it is mischievous to speculate that the terminal operator was “in trouble” over the seized container of arms. 

She said, “We have observed with great displeasure the false, unverified and unprofessional statement published in some newspapers. For the avoidance of doubt and in the interest of the well-meaning citizens of this great Country Nigeria, we wish to state as follows:

“Container No GESU 2555208-0, was discharged on our terminal on the 2nd of September 2017, from the Vessel M/V Bella Schulte Voyage 23582, it was booked on the 5th of September 2017 for examination on the 6th of September 2017, the booking for examination was duly reflected in the examination list for 6th of September 2017 and the list was delivered to the Customs CIU unit, and other Government Agencies.

“In line with the said booking the container was rightly positioned for examination, and the seal of the said container was cut on the instruction of Customs Officers.

“Following the discovery of the ammunitions in the said container, TICT as a responsible corporate citizen has rendered and continues to render every necessary assistance and information to assist the customs in the investigation of this matter, which such information has resulted in the interception of another container belonging to the same consignee also containing ammunitions.

TICT having acted at all times with every sense of responsibility is therefore surprised at the misinformation to the general public on this matter.” 

Olopade said TICT’s function as a terminal operator is limited, amongst other things, to the receipt of containers from carrying vessels and delivery of same to the consignee’s, and as such TICT is not in any position to determine the type or nature of the cargo consigned in any container.

“Furthermore, we wish to assure the good people of our country Nigeria and indeed our esteemed client’s that we remain committed to deliver service with every sense of responsibility,” she added.      

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