Customs Impounds Weapons, Military Wears At Lagos Airport

2010-05-01
THE GUARDIAN Newspaper- Wole Shadare

THE Nigeria Customs Service has impounded a consignment of huge military camouflage, Police bullet proofs, handcuffs, helmets and other items illegally shipped to the country through the cargo area of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.

Briefing the media yesterday, Area Controller of the Nigeria Customs Service, Murtala Muhammed Airport Command, Mr. Michael Adewole said the items were brought in by some Nigerians with the aim of stockpiling them for use in the coming elections.

The Guardian learnt that Saudi Arabia and Turkey have been discovered to be the sources of most of the items carried aboard their flag carriers, Saudi Airline and Turkish Airlines.

The controller, who assured that the airport command would do everything in its power to frustrate such criminal acts, said there was the need to be more alert in view of the fact that the items were the kinds of the seized wears that were used to perpetrate heinous crimes in Jos in Plateau State recently.

The customs chiefs also said the manner the culprits often packaged the illegal goods indicated that they operated as a syndicate.

The latest of such seizures, according to the controller, was a large consignment of military camouflage packed in 37 luggages belonging to one Yakubu, which was discovered by the Customs on arrival at the airport.

The seized items were brought in under the false declaration that they were spare parts.

The military wears were later yesterday handed over to the military intelligence unit for further action while the police bullet proof vests are also under investigations.

His words: "We are trying to see that Nigeria is secure. This illegal importation is a way by the bad eggs to kill and maim as the elections come closer. Murtala Muhammed Airport will not be allowed to be used as a haven for criminals."

To frustrate further importation of such items, Adewole said the Customs would be forwarding a comprehensive memo to government on how to review laws guiding what airlines should bring in as the law in existence ground at the moment, he said, did not empower the airline to check the goods passengers put on their flights.

 

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