The Nigeria Customs Service has intercepted a significant cache of arms, drones, and military accoutrements valued at ₦1.5 billion. These items, reportedly exported from Turkey to Lagos State, were seized following a meticulous operation by the Customs officials.

Comptroller General of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi, made this revelation on Wednesday at the Murtala Muhammed Area Command of the Service in Lagos. He detailed how, acting on a tip-off from both local and international intelligence sources, the Command had strategically positioned its personnel at all exit points around the airport on June 19, 2024.

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Adeniyi explained that during the examination process, officers discovered an item suspected to be part of a rifle from a shipment. The consignment, bearing airway bill number 235-58737755, had originated from Turkey. This discovery prompted a comprehensive inspection of the entire consignment, which led to the uncovering of four packages concealing 55 pieces of unassembled Jojef Magnum (Tomahawk) semi-automatic shotguns. These unassembled firearms had been ingeniously hidden within shower faucets. The illicit arms’ Duty Paid Value was assessed at ₦270,888,109.29.

The Customs boss further revealed that the improperly imported military and paramilitary gear included in the seizure had an estimated value of ₦1.29 billion. Combined with the illicit arms, the total value of the confiscated items reached approximately ₦1.5 billion. Adeniyi underscored that recent analyses of such seizures indicated a troubling trend where certain Nigerians residing in Turkey are actively involved in purchasing, packaging, and exporting these illegal arms to Nigeria.

In connection with the smuggling attempt, one suspect has been apprehended. This individual will be handed over to the National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons, which operates under the office of the National Security Adviser, for a thorough investigation and subsequent prosecution.

Adeniyi provided a detailed breakdown of the seized items, which included: 148 drones, 172 ballistic vests, 15 ballistic plates, one ballistic helmet, eight walkie-talkies, 9,172 military and paramilitary badges, 20 camouflage uniforms, 100 camouflage vests, 172 camouflage caps, and 120 binoculars. This significant seizure comes on the heels of another notable interception by Customs officers in Port Harcourt, where 844 rifles and 112,500 rounds of ammunition were confiscated.

This series of successful operations by the Nigeria Customs Service highlights the ongoing efforts to curb the influx of illegal arms and military-grade equipment into the country, reflecting the agency’s commitment to national security and the rule of law.