Customs intercepts 55 semi-automatic rifles worth N270m at Lagos airport

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) says its personnel intercepted 55 pieces of unassembled semi-automatic rifles at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMA) in Lagos.

Adewale Adeniyi, Comptroller-General of customs, who spoke at a press conference on Wednesday, disclosed that the consignment imported from Turkey worth over N270 million, was intercepted on June 19.

“On 19th June 2024, the MMA 2 command deployed personnel to man all exit points effectively and mandated examination of all consignments as a result of the tip-off that we got,” he said.

“During the examination, an item was discovered and suspected to be part of a rifle from a consolidated consignment that had an airway bill with the number 235/587737755, which originated from Turkiye, was intercepted.

“Consequently, the entire consignment was isolated from the rest for further examination. At the end of this process, it was established that four packages inside this consignment were used to conceal 55 pieces of unassembled Magnum Tomahawk semi-automatic short guns.

“These rifles were concealed using shower faucets. The duty-paid value of these illicit arms is N270, 888, 109. We are not particularly interested in the value of this; we are interested in the danger it represents for national security.”

Adeniyi said a suspect in connection with the illegal importation is already in the agency’s custody, assisting with ongoing investigations to uncover the perpetrators of the crime.

Two days ago, customs said its officialsseized 844 units of rifles and 112,500 pieces of live ammunition at the Onne Port in Rivers State.

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