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Customs confirms seizure of 844 rifles, 112,500 ammunition at Rivers port

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has confirmed the seizure of 844 units of rifles and 112,500 pieces of live ammunition “illegally” imported into the country.

Adewale Adeniyi, comptroller-general (CG) of customs, spoke on Monday at a press conference in Port Harcourt command, Onne, Rivers state.

The comptroller-general’s briefing confirmed the authenticity of a video on the seizure that circulated last week.

“It was the case with this 1X40 foot container, MAEU165396, which originated from Turkey, and, based on a number of risk factors, became a subject of interest,” Adeniyi said.

“We had followed its sail across the continents, as we benefited immensely from credible information produced through our collaboration with the intelligence communities, both at the local, national, and international levels.

“Working within our local structures, we followed diligently as the importer attempted to circumvent our procedure through the outlet of a private bond terminal.

“Consequently, on Friday, 21 June 2024, the suspicious container was subjected to a thorough physical examination. The examination result revealed the following alarming contents:.

He listed the items seized as 844 units of rifles, 112,500 pieces of live ammunition, 764 units of Tomahawk, Jojef Magnum black pump action rifles, 10 units of Verney Caron gunmakers Jojef Magnum silver pump action rifles, 50 units of Verney Caron gunmaker double barrel rifles, 20 units of Verney Caron gunmaker single barrel rifles, exclusive series, sterling high-quality live ammunition, and 34g-25 plastic shotgun shells (70mm).

The customs CG said the rifles and ammunition were concealed in various items such as doors, furniture, plumbing fittings, and leather bags, noting that the duty-paid value of the container is N4,171,710,000.

Adeniyi said three suspects have been arrested and detained in connection with the ammunition after customs secured a detention warrant from a competent court.

He also said operatives, through collaboration and intelligence, intercepted an 8×40-foot container in transit to a bonded warehouse from Onne port on June 29.

The comptroller-general said items in the containers included 1,050,000 bottles of cough syrup with codeine (100 ml) and 3,500,000 tablets of trodol benzhexol tablets (5 ml) valued at N9,600,000,000.

Adeniyi said officers also seized two containers laden with 720 bales of used clothes valued at 144,000,000.

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