Troops of 192 Battalion of the 81 Division of the Nigerian Army (NA) have busted an international ammunition smuggling syndicate while it was transporting a truckload of ammunition to Anambra State, Nigeria’s southeast.
Army spokesperson, Onyema Nwachukwu, disclosed this in a statement on Monday.
Nwachukwu, a brigadier-general, said the troops, acting on a tip-off, made the interception during “a meticulous and rigorous” stop and search operation along Ajilete-Owode Road in Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State, south-west Nigeria.
The army spokesperson said the truck- with registration number ENU 697 XY- was loaded with different ammunition.
He listed the ammunition to include 720 packets of red star cartridges of 12 calibres which contained 25 cartridges per packet, totalling 18,000 cartridges; and 250 packets of live black cartridges containing ten packets each and totalling 2500 cartridges of the same calibre.
Nwachukwu said the troops had arrested two suspects and were helping in investigations by the military.
He gave the suspects’ names as Eric Seworvor, a Ghanaian national, and Lukman Sani, the truck driver.
“Information gathered during preliminary investigation revealed that the ammunition, which was surreptitiously concealed in a supposed empty truck, was imported from Mali and itercepted at the Idiroko International Border, where the criminals had successfully beaten several other checkpoints en route their final destination in Onitsha, Anambra State, where they intended to deliver the illegal ammunition,” he said.
The army spokesperson said it took the intervention of the troops to stop the syndicate from smuggling the illegal weapons into the southeast state, stressing that the suspects would have unleashed terror on residents of the region if they had succeeded.
He appealed to Nigerians to continue to support the army and other security agencies with information that will assist them in tackling security challenges in the country.
The Chief of Army Staff, Taoreed Lagbaja, has commended the troops for their commitment to securing the lives and properties of Nigerians, Nwachukwu said.
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