Ogun: Customs intercepts 1,245 live cartridges concealed in bags of rice

Collage Maker 14 Aug 2023 04 20 PM 4070

The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Ogun Area 1 Command, has intercepted no fewer than 1,245 live cartridges concealed in some bags of rice.

The seizure was made at Tobolo community near Ijoun, in Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State.

The Area Controller, Bamidele Makinde, made this known during a press conference held in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, on Monday

Makinde told newsmen that the ammunition was loaded with 203 bags of foreign rice and abandoned in a bush path at Tobolo junction, near an exit point to the neighbouring Benin Republic.

According to him, the cartridges, 70mm (2¾), were of Lion, Trust, Supreme and Redstar brands.

The customs boss noted that the ammunition was intercepted on Saturday following intelligence gathered by the command on the planned smuggling of the prohibited items into Nigeria from Benin Republic.

He informed that the Roving B Team of the command intercepted five vehicles conveying the prohibited items.

The Area Controller disclosed that the drivers who were suspected to have been hinted at the movement of the operatives, escaped through the bush path and evaded arrest.

“During an examination of the seized vehicles and the item, about 1,245 rounds of 70mm ((2¾)) ammunition of Lion, Trust, Supreme and Redstar branded cartridges were found to have been ingeniously concealed in 20 bags of the intercepted foreign rice.

“While considering the potential danger of ammunition of such magnitude if successfully smuggled in, we redouble our efforts to ensure they do not find their way into the country. It is a threat to the safety of the border communities and national security. We are committed to ensuring maximum security of our border lines with all sense of patriotism.”

Makinde put the duty payable on the seized ammunition and rice at N17,638,145.

He said the items have been deposited for safekeeping, pending necessary action, adding that an “investigation is ongoing to unravel the cartel responsible for the attempted smuggling of the items for arrest and prosecution,” Makinde said.

He said the development is coming barely a week after a marching order was given to the command by the Acting Comptroller-General, Bashir Adeniyi, during his working visit to Ogun the week before.

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