19 September 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos — Barely one week after it intercepted a 20-foot container load of 1,100 pump action rifles, the Tin-Can Island Command of the Nigeria Customs Service yesterday uncovered yet another set of 475 riffles.
SweetcrudeReports gathered exclusively at the port yesterday that the guns were discovered after the Customs Area Controller of the Command;
Compt Bashir Yussuf ordered a detailed profiling of the importer of the 1,100 riffles intercepted last week.
The container belongs to the same importer.
The 20-foot container is numbered CMAU189817/8.
This seizure is the fourth in the series of arms seizure at Tin Can Port alone within eight months.
A source who witnessed the examination of the container told our correspondent that the riffles were concealed with small connecting pipes.
“The container was owned by the same importer of the 1,100 guns. After a detailed profiling of the importer ordered by the Area Controller, it was discovered that he still has another container inside the port, so they fished it out.”
“But I don’t know why they are hiding the identity of the importer, it could even be the government themselves importing these weapons” the source said.
At the time of filing this report, the container was being examined at the enforcement unit of the Customs, while a large number of Customs Intelligence Officers (CIU) and enforcement officers barred port users from witnessing the counting of the guns.
However, when he was contacted by our correspondent, the spokesperson of Tin Can Customs, Uche Ejesieme could not confirm the development.
He said he was not aware of such developments. “I am not aware and I don’t know anything about it,” he said.
Efforts to reach the Deputy Controller in charge of enforcement at Tin Can Port, Mr. Dera Nnadi proved abortive as all calls to his phone were not picked.
Recall that the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) had last Monday displayed 1,100 rifles imported into Tin-Can port from Turkey.
The importation came through the Tin Can Island Container Terminal (TICT). A Customs officer and Terminal Clerk of the terminal were arrested in connection with the seizure.
Ali said that the Customs would hold the terminal operator responsible for the illegal import and query how the container found its way into the examination bay even though it was not positioned or listed for examination.
He said that the all the guns were imported from Turkey. He said that the bill of laden of the container falsely indicates the content to be wash hand basins and water closets, but thorough examination revealed that it contains 600 pieces of Jojef Magnum Black Pump Action Rifles