he Tin-Can Island Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted another 2,671 rifles illegally imported into Nigeria.
The guns are alleged to have been imported from Turkey through profiling approach.
The Comptroller-General of NCS, Retired Col. Hameed Ali, told journalists in Lagos on Thursday that the seizure was the fourth at the Lagos ports within eight months.
“Following the increase in the number of arms seizures in recent times, the Customs Area Controller of Tin-Can Port, Comptroller, Yusuf Bashar, ordered a detailed profile of all imports, especially those coming from Turkey.
“Customs decided to follow profiling approach of 100 per cent examination on containers, especially those containers coming from Turkey.
“Tin-Can Customs command intercepted another 20ft container No CMAUI817/8 containing 470 pump action rifles, immediately the container landed from the port of origin to Nigerian ports.’’
The terminal operators have been was consequently directed to quarantine the container for analysis.
“The container was later transferred to the Enforcement Unit of the command where 100 per cent examination revealed 470 pump action rifles,” Ali said.
He said that the Bill of Lading of the container indicated Elbow Plumbing Plastics.
According to him, the importer of the cargo is Great Oil and Gas Ltd and the vessel named “MV Arkas Africa” owned by Hull Blyth.
He said that the NCS would now be responsive and capable of meeting the challenges being posed.
Ali urged Nigerians to rise up and remain vigilant to deal decisively with the enemies of the country, adding that this was what the Federal Government required all citizens to do.
The comptroller-general assured Nigerians that Customs officers were now on alert, following the directive he issued to all Customs area controllers on Wednesday.
Ali said that the management of the NCS had implemented a policy of rewarding good deeds as well as punishment for those who compromised.
He said that he would be having meeting with the ambassador of Turkey i n order to rub minds over continuous importation of containers of ammunitions into Nigeria.
Ali said that Customs would continue to subject all containers to 100 per cent examination until 80 per cent of the Customsvagents abide with global practices.
He said that some innocent importers were being affected as a result of constant false declaration of cargoes.
“We are going to subject all areas of Customs operations to 100 per cent examination to safeguard life of the citizens.
He, however, said that since the container belonged to the same importer of 1,100 refiles intercepted on Sept.11, investigation was on-going to fish out those connected with the container.