The troops of 192 Battalion of the Nigerian Army, operating in 81 Division area have intercepted a truck loaded with smuggled ammunition from Mali on Ajilete-Owode road in Yewa South area of Ogun State.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Onyeama Nwachukwu, said they recovered 720 packets of Red Star Cartridges of 12 Calibre, containing 25 cartridges per packet, totalling 18, 000 cartridges and an additional 250 packets of live (black) cartridges containing 10 packets each, totalling 2,500 cartridges of same calibre.
He said the driver of the truck was identified as Lukman Sani while the other suspect, Eric Seworvor, a Ghanaian national, have been arrested and taken into custody for investigation.
Persecond gathered that the ammunition was imported from Mali enroute to Anambra, before the international ammunition smuggling syndicate were busted by the Army who acted on intelligence report.
He said in a statement on Monday: “Information gathered during preliminary investigation revealed that the ammunition which were surreptitiously concealed in a supposed empty truck were imported from Mali, via 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.
“Timely intervention by the vigilant troops however thwarted the chaos that such volume of ammunition would have unleashed on innocent members of the public, if the criminals had succeeded.
“The suspects, identified as Mr. Eric Seworvor, a Ghanaian national, and the driver, Mr Lukman Sani, have been taken into custody and are helping with ongoing investigations.
“The Nigerian Army therefore appeals to all law-abiding citizens to continue to support the troops and other security agencies with credible and actionable information, as they combat security challenges across the country.”
Nwachukwu said the Chief of Army Staff, Major-General Taoreed Lagbaja has commended the troops for their commitment and urged them not to relent in their efforts to fight cross-border arms smuggling.
“They (soldiers) should strive and synergize with other services and security agencies to provide safe and secure atmosphere for all Nigerians and for the socio-economic development across the country.”