Barely a week after it intercepted a 20-foot container load of 1,100 pump action rifles, the Tin Can Island Command of Nigeria Customs Service, on Monday, uncovered yet another set of 475 rifles shipped in by the same importer.
According to reports, the guns were discovered after the Customs Area Controller of the Command, Comptroller Bashir Yussuf, ordered a detailed profiling of the importer of the 1,100 rifles intercepted last week.
The container was marked CMAU189817/8.
This is the fourth seizure at Tin Can Island Port within eight months.
A source, who witnessed the examination of the container, told newsmen that the rifles were concealed with small connecting pipes.
The source said: “The container is owned by the same importer of the 1,100 guns. After a detailed profiling of the importer ordered by the Area Controller, it was discovered that he still has another container inside the port; so they fished it out.
“But I don’t know why they are hiding the identity of the importer; it could even be the government themselves importing these weapons.”
The container was being examined at the enforcement unit of Customs, while a large number of Customs Intelligence Officers (CIU) and enforcement officers barred port users from witnessing the counting of the guns.
However, Tin Can Customs spokesman, Uche Ejesieme, could not confirm the development, saying “I am not aware and I don’t know anything about it.”
Efforts to reach the Deputy Controller in charge of enforcement at Tin Can Port, Mr. Dera Nnadi, proved abortive as all calls to his phone were not answered.