30th November, 2023
By Adejoke Adeleye, Ogun
Operatives of Nigeria Customs Service of Nigeria have intercepted 975 ammunition rounds inside bags of rice hidden in a bush in the Ayetoro area of Imeko Afon local government of Ogun State.
The Comptroller of Customs in Ogun, Ahmadu Bello Shuaibu told journalists at a press briefing held at the Command headquarters in Area 1 Idiroko, that the cartridges which were to be smuggled into the state were uncovered through a report by good citizens of the community where the arms and ammunition were hidden,
“We have been on the trail of the ammunition for about a week ago. Fortunately, at 0005hrs of the day, we got an intel that the five bags of foreign parboiled rice containing live cartridges of red star ammunition had been carefully hidden in a bush path along the Palace/Ayetoro road, Imeko Afon Local Government Area of Ogun State.
“Our operatives went to the spot and evacuated the 5 bags of rice without any encounter.
“The bags of rice were suspected because of the unusual threading and sewing of the sacks. This quickly aroused the suspicion of our operatives, leading to their opening for proper examination at the Border station.
“During the examination, about 975 rounds of red star live cartridges were found to have been ingeniously concealed in the bags,” said Shuabu.
He added that efforts are ongoing to track down the owners of the bags of rice laced with the dangerous weapons.
He added that Customs recognise the potential danger of arms and ammunition trafficking and as such, efforts to combat it will be intensified.
“Arms and ammunition smuggling is a high intelligence operation, as it often attempts to evade the watchful eyes of law enforcement. It requires concerted and collaborative efforts of law-abiding citizens of this country to checkmate. Proactive intelligence is required in this regard. Smuggling of arms and ammunition are a menace that knows no border and feeds on the vulnerability of our society.
“The consequences of unchecked smuggling of arms and ammunition is severe, ranging from the empowerment of criminal organizations to escalating crisis and compromise of national security.
“For these reasons, we will not relent nor compromise, waging war against smuggling of unlawful arms and ammunition in building a safe and stable nation,” he said.
On Monday, 27 November 2023, our operatives went on a professional and intelligence-based operation to unravel the antics deployed by unscrupulous elements to bringing in live ammunition through Imeko axis of the State.