The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has accused shipping lines of aiding importation of arms into the country.
Comptroller General, Col Hameed Ali (rtd), who accused the liners at stakeholders meeting in Lagos, explained that one of the biggest problems the country was currently facing is illegal importation of arms.
He called on stakeholders to join hands in identifying loopholes necessitating the proliferation of arms into the Nigerian shores.
Ali noted that between January and October, 2017, Customs intercepted 2,671 pump action rifles.
The comptroller general noted that importers knew the original contents were prohibited in Nigeria, leading to the diversion of the cargo to Morocco and canceled the manifest to read sanitary wares.
He wondered why shipping lines would change manifest midway in the course of transportation. Ali stressed that NCS would henceforth subject cargoes in containers to be palletised.
He said: “The law is very clear. If a shipping line brings in goods that are contrary to what is disclosed, the law gives us power to delay and if possible seize any cargo. Any ship that carries cargo other than what is declared, the law empowers us to seize or detain. If we get any infraction we would apply the law to the fullest.”