By Innocent Orok
The officers of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) at Idiroko Border, Ogun 1 Command have intercepted and seized a total of 975 rounds of red star catridges ammunition concealed in five bags of foreign parboiled rice smuggled into the country.
This was disclosed to newsmen on Wednesday at the Idiroko Border by the Acting Customs Area Controller, Deputy Comptroller Ahmadu Bello Shuaibu.
DC Shuaibu who reiterated the unwavering commitment of the Customs to safeguarding and strengthening the security architecture of our beloved nation against insecurity, said ” We are delighted to report that we have thwarted the evil plans of the enemies of the State from smuggling of live ammunition into the country.
“Nigerians are presently living at the edge because of the incessant security issues plaguing the country and some are adopting self help and group arranged security measures for deterrent and as means of security assurance. But the solutions deeply lie in the plugging of all loopholes from which arms and ammunition come into the country since most of these come from outside the country”, he said.
Shauibu noted thus “Arms and ammunition smuggling is a high intelligence operation as it often attempts to evade the watchful eyes of law enforcement. It requires concerted and collaborative efforts of law-abiding citizens of this country to checkmate. Proactive intelligence is required in this regard. Smuggling of arms and ammunition are a menace that knows no border and feeds on the vulnerability of our society. The consequences of unchecked smuggling of arms and ammunition is severe, ranging from the empowerment of criminal organisations to escalating crisis and compromise of national security. For these reasons, we will not relent nor compromise waging war against smuggling of unlawful arms and ammunition in building a safe and stable nation”.
Narrating on how the seizure was made , the anti- smuggling Czar who was formerly Zone A Coordinator of the disbanded CG Strike Force said ‘ ” On Monday 27 November 2023, our operatives went on a professional and intelligence -based operation to unravel the antics deployed by unscrupulous elements to bringing in live ammunition through Imeko axis of the State. We have been on the trail of the ammunition for about a week ago.
” Fortunately, at 0005hrs of the day, we got an information that the five bags of foreign parboiled rice containing live cartridges of red star ammunition had been carefully hidden in bush path along the Palace / Ayetoro road , Imeko Afon Local Government Area of Ogun State. Our operatives went to the spot and evacuated the five bags of rice without any encounter.”
He noted that the bags of rice were suspected because of the unusual threading and sewing of sacks .
” This quickly arouse the suspicion of our operatives leading to their opening for proper examination at the border station. During the examination , about 975 round of red star live cartridges ammunition were found to have been ingeniously concealed in bags. We have intensified efforts at tracking down the perpetrators of this nefarious act for them to be brought to justice”, DC Shuaibu assured.
He called on the public to be more vigilant and help with good and credible intelligence. He also thanked his officers ,the media and the general public, giving kudos to the Comptroller General of Customs, Wale Adeniyi for his untiring support in the fight against economic saboteurs and his zeal to make sure that legitimate trade is properly encouraged.