Again Tin Can Customs impounds large arms cache
ACG Abueh displaying some of the pump action guns while some officers look on
The Tin Can Island Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has impounded a large cache of arms imported into the country through the port, less than six months after it made a similar seizure of 600 arms and ammunition.
Zonal Coordinator of Zone A, Lagos of the service, Assistant Comptroller General Monday Abueh, who represented the Comptroller General of the service, Col. Hameed Ali during the unveiling of the consignment at the Tin Can Island Port Apapa, told newsmen that the arms numberng a total of 440 units of pump action guns and other components were concealed in a 20-foot container declared as Plaster of Paris POP, and cement.
The pump action guns, which are of various categories and species including the single Barrel type, are of the magnum brand and were said to have been manufactured in the United States and Italy but imported from Turkey.
According to him, the interception and eventual seizure of the arms follows an intelligence report made available to the Customs Area Controller of the command, Comptroller Bashar Yusuf, who made optimum use of the intelligence report, leading to the interception and seizure of the consignment.
It was further gathered that the agent, who was to clear the consignment has already been arrested even as the identity of both the agent and importer has been kept under wrap which full investigations go on.
The Comptroller General of the service, who sounded a note of warning to importers of such dangerous products should look elsewhere, arguing that the interception and seizure of the consignment was an indication that it is no longer business as usual since the service would continuously live to its responsibilities.
Meanwhile, the CAC, Comptroller Bashar, who also spoke during the media briefing on the seizure in Lagos, disclosed that the Customs Administration of the 21st century would have to do with a lot of intelligence and profiling of importers.
He argued that the role of the service is to ensure that it does not wait for the crime to be committed, which he said was the case in the current seizure, as the agent was yet to make his declaration before he was caught.
The CAC further disclosed that due to the discovery of other units of the components and accessories of the guns, the command would ensure that it deepens its investigations with a view to establishing whether there is an assembly plant in the country.
Bashar, who was Deputy Comptroller in charge of the Customs Information Communication Technology ICT, also called the Ruling House before his promotion and posting to the Tin Can Command last year as the CAC, warned that the command would leave no stone unturned in ridding the command of illicit imports.
Recall that the management of the service had within the space of two months written two letters of commendation to the command over some extraordinary seizures made by the command, which include 600 units of arms and ammunition and gas masks, jollof rice imported from India and a large quantity of Cocaine concealed in a consignment imported by Nigerite Nigeria Limited, among several others.