ABUJA: The Tin-Can Island Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted 1,100 rifles which were imported into the country from Turkey under false declaration. The Comptroller-General of NCS, Retired Col. Hameed Ali, told journalists in Lagos on Monday that the seizure was the third interception of ammunition at Lagos ports within nine months. “As you may already be aware, the two previous cases are 661 Pump Action Rifles from Apapa Command and 440 rifles from this command. “The 20ft container No GESU2555208 was intercepted on Sept. 7 during examination, while the Bill of Lading falsely indicated wash hand basins and water closets. “An officer of the service alleged to have authorised the cutting of the seal and the terminal clerk have been arrested and are undergoing investigation.
“NCS under my leadership will do all possible to fish out all those remotely connected with this devilish importation. “We shall bring them to justice,” Ali said. He said that the NCS would meet with the World Customs Organisation (WCO) and Foreign Affairs Ministry to stop illegal importation of ammunition. He said that the service would not only pursue the agents but would also go after the shippers and terminal operators who took custody of the consignments. The comptroller-general commended operatives of the Customs Intelligence Unit (CIU) for discovering the rifles in spite of the false declaration. He also applauded the sister agencies for their collaboration with the NCS and urged the media to continue to disseminate information on the dangers of smuggling across borders. Ali said that the present NCS management would continue to re-position and fine-tune operational strategies of the service in line with the Federal Government’s policies toward a new and better way of serving Nigerians.