Man held with 100,000 ammunition, arms

2010-03-19
THE SUN Newspaper- Christopher Oji and Matthew Dike

Police operatives attached to the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS), Adeniji Adele Headquarters Annex, Lagos have nabbed a suspected gunrunner who allegedly smuggled over 100,000 ammunition and gun valued at N 6 million into the country.

The gun dealer, Martin Anokwara, 52, was arrested with three other persons, including the driver and conductor of the lorry that conveyed the ammunition and arms.
The other suspect claimed to be a loader who transferred the items from the original vehicle that carried the goods from Ghana to Nigerian border, Shaki in Oyo State.

Anokwara, who hails from Anambra State, said he was carrying the ammunition and one gun to Onisha main market for onward distribution to the end users in Anambra State when policemen from FSARS spoilt the deal for him.
Anokwara, driver, Raufu Ishola, conductor, Rafiu Akanji and the loader, Moshood Kolawole were among the suspects paraded by the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of ‘D’ Department, Mr. Israel Ajao.
Ajao said the suspects concealed the 100,000 rounds of lethal AA and BB 12 live cartridges and gun in 32 welded drums and cartons of various sizes packaged, covered and disguised under sacks containing charcoals in the upper layer of the Leyland lorry with registration number XD 749AAA to mislead security personnel.

Ajao praised the Commissioner of Police, FSARS, Mr. Jubril Adeniji who received information from members of the public about the arms and ammunition and did not waste time to lead his squad to the scene. Though the detectives were said to have laid ambush at Ago area of Shaki where they were rounded up. Daily Sun gathered that Anokwara bolted on suspecting the arrival of the crime fighters. The squad were said to have used Ishola and Akanji to trail Anokwara until he was arrested. Kolawole was also arrested after he fled from the scene. Ajao also explained that the gun recovered was a serviceable Baretta pistol with no. 852665 with 55 rounds of ammunition concealed in one of the metal drums.


Narrating how he progressed in the illegal business, the alleged gunrunner confessed that before he used to travel to Ghana to smuggle fragile plates into the country before he decided to change line of business. The suspect claimed that it would be his second time of engaging in gunrunning business. The first, he claimed was last year when he bought ammunition worth about N3 million from Ghana and after selling it at Onitsha made profit of N200,000. He told Daily Sun that he was expecting to make at least N300,000 from the foiled business. According to the suspect, he sold one packet of ammunition N2,000 and each of it contained 25 ammunition. “I was arrested at Shaki in Oyo State. This is dry season and hunters are ready to buy ammunition. I believed I would have made a good sum. I also sell to several vigilante groups in Onitsha main market. Vigilance groups will come in their vehicle and with arms, So when I see vigilance members I know them I don’t sell to armed robbers,” Anokwara claimed.

The driver, Ishola, claimed that he did not know the contents of what they loaded in the vehicle his late father left behind for him. Ishola told Daily Sun that Anokwara deceived him by telling him the contents were carbide. He charged the gunrunner N100,000 to convey the goods from Kwara to Akure. He only received N30, 000 to fuel the vehicle. Akanji wept that he did not know the kind of items they loaded in the vehicle until police arrested them. Kolawole said he was just a loader who was trying to survive. The owner of the goods promised to pay me N15,000 to offload the items from another vehicle to the vehicle now in police custody.

 

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