The Niger, Kwara, Kogi Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has apprehended two suspected smugglers caught with 200,000 live ammunition along Wawa-Babana border in Niger State.
The suspects, Martin Anokwara and Bukari Dauda, were reportedly arrested by the customs operatives attached to the border between Niger State and Benin Republic.
It was learnt that the suspects were leaving Benin Republic with a truck loaded with 200,000 cartridges to Onitsha, Anambra State when they were intercepted.
Anokwara, who owned the contraband told newsmen that he went to Benin Republic to buy the cartridges to sell to hunters and licensed gun owners in the South-East.
“My bringing in the cartridges is not for robbery, I sell to hunters within my state and other states in the East and I have been supplying to people that needed it. I never knew that the law will catch up with me, it’s one of those things man will face in life,” he said, adding, “Life itself is a risk and I wouldn’t say that I’m regretting my action because I knew what I was doing, but in any case, let the law take its course.”
The truck driver, Dauda, told newsmen that he did not know the content of the truck, adding that he was simply asked by the regular driver of the vehicle to assist him by driving the vehicle to Onitsha, Anambra State.
“I did not know that the truck contained live ammunition, but the owner merely told me that he wanted to take the jerrycans to Onitsha,” he claimed.
The Customs Area Command Controller, Benjamin Binga, said his men intercepted the truck which entered the country through the Babana border at about 3 am on Monday.
Binga said the truck was disguised with over 100 empty jerrycans but following a search, it was discovered to have a false bottom where the cartridges were hidden.
“The checking was not from a tip-off, it was just out of sheer curiosity that my men decided to do a thorough checking and discovered that unlike other bottoms of trucks, this one had nuts and on removing the nuts, they discovered it was a false bottom which revealed the cartridges.
“The cartridges are numbering thousands, it would take us hours to count it. We are now working to establish what the cartridges are really meant for and who sent them to bring it into the country,” he said, adding that the suspects would be prosecuted after investigation.