The Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd) on Tuesday met with the Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Hakan Cakil, over the recent seizures of Pump Action rifles imported into the country from Turkey.
The meeting, which was held at the headquarters of the Nigeria Customs Service in Abuja, lasted for almost two hours.
The Public Relations Officer of the NCS, Mr. Joseph Attah, said in a statement that the meeting dwelt on how to fashion out ways of dealing with the recurring cases of arms importation from Turkey.
This year alone, the NCS had, on four occasions, intercepted pump action rifles smuggled into the country totaling 2,671 pieces.
The service had, in January, seized 661 pieces of pump action rifles, which were found in 49 boxes.
In May, the operatives intercepted 440 pieces of assorted pump action rifles and on September 11, 2017, another 1,100 rifles were intercepted at the Tin Can Island.
All of them originated from Turkey
Specifically, the CG was said to have expressed concerns that four different arms seizures with a total of 2,671 Pump Action rifles were coming from one source –Turkey.
This, according to him, appears to suggest complicity on the part of the Turkish government.
At the end of the two-hour meeting, the statement said the Turkish Ambassador restated his country’s support for Nigeria’s security and well-being , noting that Turkey would not support any dangerous shipment to Nigeria.
Cakil, according to the statement, said that all the four shipments intercepted by the NCS bore false declarations on the bill of lading. This, he noted was a clear case of smuggling.
Furthermore, the statement explained that the ambassador agreed to communicate to his home country the outcome of the investigations from Customs, as this would help expose the criminals behind the illegal arms shipment.