Nigerian Customs Seizes Container Loaded with Arms and Drugs Worth N13.9 Billion

By Joke Kujenya

A MAJOR security operation by the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has led to the interception of a container filled with a cache of arms and drugs worth approximately N13.9 billion.

The container, seized at Onne Port in Rivers State, contained 844 assorted rifles, 12,500 rounds of ammunition, and a significant quantity of codeine and tramadol as an operation which highlights the ongoing efforts to curb illegal smuggling and maintain national security.

The NCS, led by Comptroller General Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, unveiled the seized items, revealing that they had been smuggled from Turkey and concealed within second-hand clothing.

The sophisticated operation included international collaboration and intelligence that meticulously tracked the container’s journey as the smugglers attempted to evade detection by routing the container through a private bonded terminal.

Customs officers then conducted a thorough inspection of the container on June 21, 2024, and discovered the hidden firearms and ammunition among various household items.

Adeniyi described this as a significant find which underscores the vigilance and expertise of the NCS in identifying and intercepting contraband.

In a related development, another container was seized on June 22, 2024.

Also, in transit from a bonded terminal, it was found to contain 1.5 million bottles of codeine cough syrup and 3.5 million tablets of tramadol.

The combined duty-paid value of the drugs is estimated at N9.6 billion.

The NCS said they have arrested three suspects in connection with these seizures who are currently in custody, and a thorough investigation is underway to ensure all parties involved are brought to justice.

Adeniyi notes that the swift actions and effective collaboration of the customs officers have prevented these dangerous substances from entering the market and potentially causing harm to countless individuals.

He also disclosed that the total duty-paid value of the intercepted goods stands at an impressive N13,915,710,000.00, reflecting the significant impact of this operation on the smuggling network, and assured that the NCS would continue to demonstrate its commitment to safeguarding the nation through vigilant and proactive measures against illegal smuggling activities.

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