Customs & ExciseHeadlines

Customs intercepts arms, ammunition In Benue State

Abiola Seun

The Joint Border Patrol Team Sector 3, North Central zone of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted 550 Pump Action gun cartridges in Adikpo Junction, Benue State.

The Coordinator of JBPT comprising of four states -Kwara, Niger, Benue and Kogi- Comptroller Olugboyega Peters disclosed this at a press briefing held at the Zonal headquarters of Nigeria Customs Service, Ilorin, Kwara State.

Peters, who said that the ammunitions were packed in 22 bags of 25 pieces each, said that they were concealed in two black Bacco bags in a commercial J5 Bus.

He said, “Based on intelligence report, the sector intercepted a commercial J5 Bus around Adikpo Junction in Benue State heading to Taraba State.

“On searching the vehicle, two black Bacco sacks were found to contain pump action cartridges suspected to be smuggled into the country.

“The ammunition, driver and the suspect were arrested immediately and brought to Sector 3 Headquarters, Ilorin, Kwara State and after preliminary investigation, as the law of jurisdiction demands, they were all handed over to Nigeria Police Force, Benue State for further investigation.”

Peters said that investigation revealed that the vehicle was coming from Onitsha in Anambra State and heading to Taraba State.

“This epic seizure is very commendable at the backdrop of the heightened insecurity in the country. Should 550 rounds of live ammunition escape into the Country and fall into wrong hands, the consequences will be devastating,” he said.

Peters said that the JBPT between August and December recorded 49 seizures with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N29.273 million in the zone with items seized to include; 1,251 jericans of 25 litres each of PMS (31,273liters), 751 Bags of foreign parboiled rice, nine used vehicles, seven bales of second-hand clothing, one motorcycle used as a means of conveyance of PMS and also used smuggling surveillance as well as 550 Pump Action gun cartridges.

He said that 17 suspects were arrested with the smuggled items.

The coordinator while advising smugglers to desist from smuggling, warned those who want to use this yuletide period to make money by smuggling prohibited items to think twice “as our officers have continued to dominate the general area with aggressive patrols to deny smugglers freedom of action.”

He assured that Joint Border Patrol Team, Sector 3 will do all it takes to ensure that smuggling suffocates and in due course collapse, adding, “This can easily be achieved if host communities, youths, community leaders, religious leaders and the local dwellers stop seeing smuggling as a means of livelihood and equally stop conspiring or assisting the perpetrators of this heinous crime called smuggling. Section 77 (a to c) of Customs and Excise Management Act is explicit on this.”

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