By Christopher Oji and Isaac Anumihe
The Nigeria Customs yesterday, in Lagos, intercepted a truck conveying 49 boxes containing 661 guns imported from China.
The Comptroller-General of Customs, Colonel Hammed Ibrahim Ali, at a press briefing in Lagos, said the guns were under absolute prohibition and therefore, their importation was illegal and contravenes the law.
The deadly items, which were from China but routed through Turkey, were discovered in a 1 x 40 feet container with number: PONU/825914/3 via a MACK truck with registration number: BDG 265 XG along Mile 2, Apapa Road.
According to Ali, the suspects, including the customs officers involved in the importation, have been arrested. They are Mr. Oscan Okafor (importer), aged 51; Mr. Mahmud Hassan (clearing agent), aged 56 and Mr. Sadique Mustapha (accompanying the consignment to the destination), aged 28.
He, however, did not disclose the names of the officers arrested, but explained that the customs was still investigating the matter because every officer whose name or signature appears on the documents would be picked up for interrogation and prosecuted, if found culpable.
“Investigation has already commenced and I have directed that the dragnet should be wide enough to fish out all persons involved in the importation and clearing of the consignment. Already, the officers involved in the clearing of this container are with Comptroller FOU Zone ‘A’ Ikeja. This seizure underscores the determination of the Service to enforce all laws relating to importation of goods into and exportation out of Nigeria, thereby contributing to the economy, security and wellbeing of the country,” he said.
The CG, however, called on Nigerians to support the Customs with information that could assist it perform its statutory responsibilities in the interest of Nigeria.
Last December, the customs intercepted two personal effects containers loaded with 10 live rounds of ammunition concealed in a used 2004 model Toyota Corolla car with chassis number 2D1BR32E54C309841.