Lagos State Police Command has smashed a syndicate that specialized in illegal importation of ammunition from neighboring West African countries, arresting three suspected members, including retired naval officer.
The suspects, alleged to be traders at the popular Onitsha market, usually concealed the ammunition inside their goods, using the method to evade security checks at the border.
But luck ran out on them after the surveillance team of Trade Fair Division, under Area ‘E’ Command intercepted a Volkswagen bus loaded with goods from Seme border, on Wednesday, at the Trade Fair Complex.
The vehicle was reportedly taken to the station based on suspicion, where a startling discovery of 8,450 live cartridges, concealed inside cartons of T-shirts was made, when searched.
Parading the suspects before journalists, yesterday, at the command headquarters, Ikeja, the Command boss, Mr Umar Manko, revealed that “after close examination, a navy warrant officer’s WO2 uniform, identity card, beret, badges and shoes of a retired naval officer, who was in charge of the vehicle, at the time of arrest, were found .
“Investigation was extended to Onitsha, Anambra State, leading to the arrest of one Udeh, who is one of the owners of the consignment. He offered the sum of N61,200 to the police to influence the release of the consignment and was arrested in the process”.
However, when the retired naval officer was questioned, he denied knowledge of the contents of the cartons, saying he was only called upon to convey the goods to Trade Fair by one Ejike. He also denied wearing the military uniform, saying he only kept it in the vehicle in order to wade off motor park touts and policemen whom he accused of always harassing them on the road.