The Controller General of Nigeria Custom Service(NCS), Col Ahmeed Ibrahim Ali (rtd) has directed all Custom Area Comptrollers to be alert following the seizure of another arms cache in Tin Can Island Port, Apapa, Lagos.
The NIS Comptroller General gave the directive while addressing journalists at the Tin-Can Island Port following the interception of another 470 pump action rifles at the port.
The NIS boss stated that it had become pertinent to put the border posts in Nigeria at alert, adding that the seaports had become increasingly impenetrable for the criminals.
The latest seizure came barely a week after the command intercepted a 20-foot container load of 1,100 pump action rifles and the latest brings to four the number of seizures the command has mdae within eight months.
He disclosed that due to the incessant seizures of weapons at Tin –Can Port,the Custom Area Comptroller of the command, Comptroller Bashir Yusuf ordered a detail profile of all imports especially those coming from Turkey the same source with previous seizure.
“The profile of container from Turkey was eventually narrowed down to one 20ft container No CMAU189817/8. The terminal operator was consequently directed to quarantine the flagged container for stricter analysis. It was later transferred to enforcement unit where 100 percent examination revealed 470 pump action rifles as against elbow plumbing plastics on his bill of lading,”he said.
He continued, “The importer of this deadly cargo is Great James Oil Limited, while the vessel is MV Arkas Africa owned by Hull Blyth. The discovery bring to a total of 2671 rifles seized within the last eight months of this year.”
Ali also revealed that while the audacity of the criminals to think that they can succeed in smuggling this dangerous weapons into the country successfully remain worrisome, he, however, pointed out that their consolation is that the new NCS is now more responsive and capable of meeting the challenges posed by these criminals.
He appealed to Nigerians to rise up and remain vigilant to deal decisively with the enemies of this nation, adding that since seaports are increasingly impenetrable, suspects may want to try other use other points.
In his words, “I call on well Nigerians to support the service by providing information that will help us perform even better.”
He stated that since the container belong to the same importer of 1,100 rifles, ongoing investigation will be reinvigorated to fish out all those directly or remotely connected with the dangerous importers.