Illegal arms shipment imported from Turkey seized in Nigeria

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Photo credit: Vanguard

An illegal arms shipment originating in Turkey and containing 440 pump action rifles was seized on Monday in Lagos, Nigeria, according to Agence France-Presse.

The Nigerian government told AFP on Wednesday it had intercepted an illegal cache of arms at the port in Lagos, five months after a similar seizure, when customs officers had stopped a truck carrying 661 illegal pump action rifles after they had been cleared at the port.

“Following intelligence reports, our operatives on Monday inspected a 40-foot container at the Tin Can port in Apapa, Lagos, and found 440 pieces of assorted pump action rifles and other accessories of the guns,” said spokesman Joseph Attah, adding that the consignment was covered with plaster of Paris to avoid detection. Attah said an investigation was under way to determined the intended recipient of the illegal shipment and that one suspect had been arrested.

According to Monday Abueh, the assistant comptroller of customs, the rifles were manufactured in the US and Italy but had been imported from Turkey and were concealed in a 20-foot container.

In 2014, Turkish Airlines attracted attention after a voice recording surfaced, allegedly a phone conversation between a senior Turkish Airlines official and one of then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s advisers.

“Lots of material is on its way to Nigeria right now. Is it going to kill Muslims or Christians? I am sinning right now, you should know,” one voice, purportedly that of the THY official, says.

The voice supposedly of Erdogan’s adviser says he would contact National Intelligence Organization (MİT) Undersecretary Hakan Fidan.Turkish Airlines denied carrying weapons and military equipment to Nigeria.

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