Customs Seize ₦1.5bn Firearms From Turkey, Suspect Arrested

The Nigeria Customs Service has seized assorted arms, drones, and military accoutrements worth ₦1.5bn exported from Turkey to Lagos State.

Comptroller General of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi, disclosed this in Lagos on Wednesday at the Murtala Muhammed Area Command of the Service.

He said the Command, acting on intelligence from local and international collaborators, on June 19, 2024, deployed its personnel to man all the exit points around the airport.

Adeniyi said, “During the examination, an item was discovered and suspected to be part of a rifle from a console consignment with airway bill number 235-58737755, emanating from Turkey.

“Consequently, the entire consignment was isolated for thorough examination. At the end of the examination, it was established that 4 packages were used to conceal 55 pieces of unassembled Jojef magnum (Tomahawk) semi-automatic shotgun. The unassembled rifles were concealed using shower faucet. The Duty Paid Value of these illicit arms is ₦270, 888, 109.29.”

The Customs boss also put the value of military and paramilitary accoutrements improperly imported at ₦1.29bn, with the total value of the item put at ₦1.5bn.

He said analysis of recent seizures showed that some unscrupulous Nigerians based in Turkey are purchasing, packaging and exporting these illicit arms to Nigeria.

Adeniyi said a suspect was arrested in connection with the illicit arms importation and would be handed over to the National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons, under the office of the National Security Adviser, for diligent investigation and prosecution.

He gave a breakdown of the seized items as 148 pieces of drones, 172 pieces of ballistic vest, 15 pieces of ballistic plates, one piece of ballistic helmet, eight pieces of walkie-talkie, 9,172 pieces of military and paramilitary badges, 20 pieces of camouflage uniform, 100 pieces of camouflage vest, 172 pieces of camouflage cap, and 120 pieces of binoculars.

Recall that days ago, the Customs announced that its officers in in Port Harcourt seized 844 rifles and 112,500 rounds of ammunition.

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