By Anozie Egole
The Federal Operations Unit, Zone A Ikeja, of the Nigeria Customs Service, said it intercepted a Toyota Sienna vehicle loaded with 15 bulletproof jackets, 15 pieces of jack knives, and 20 pieces of pistol pouches at Ijebu-Ode checkpoint in Ogun State.
A statement by the command on Wednesday said the driver of the vehicle was arrested and the controlled wares seized.
In the statement, the acting Customs Area Controller in charge of the unit, Hussein Ejibunu, said importation of any form of bulletproof items required an end-user certificate from the office of the National Security Adviser.
The statement read, “Within July, our officers intercepted smuggled 15 bulletproof jackets, 15 pieces of jack knives, and 20 pieces of pistol pouches inside a Toyota Sienna bus in Ogun State at Ijebu-Ode Checkpoint.
“The driver of the vehicle was arrested with the seized controlled wares. It is pertinent to know that the importation of all forms of bulletproof materials such as vests, ballistic materials, and vehicles, as well as parts and accessories for all military armaments and hardware such as guns, arms, and ammunition of all kinds; lethal and non-lethal requires an end-user certificate.”
Ejibunu said a total of 50 seizures were made and 13 persons were arrested in connection with different seizures in July.
“Notable among the seizures made were, 5,642 bags of foreign rice 50kg each equivalent to nine trailer loads, 18,925 litres of Premium Motor Spirit, 20 pieces of pistol pouches, 15 pieces of bulletproof jackets, 15 pieces of jack knives, 49 cartons of children school shoes, 181 parcels of Indian Hemp 87 kg each, 357 kegs of vegetable oil five litres each, one unit of Honda Motorcycle, two used (Tokunbo) vehicles, among others,” he said.
He also said that the duty-paid value of the seized goods stood at N463m.
According to the statement, the acting FOU boss handed over three suspects and cannabis sativa with a net weight of 7.73 kg to officials of the Lagos State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, for further investigation and prosecution.