2 held over arms smuggling
The Lagos State Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) have arrested two persons for allegedly smuggling arms and ammunition from Mali to Nigeria.
The suspects are said to be part of an arms smuggling syndicate, that specializes in selling arms to criminals, particularly crude oil thieves based in the Niger Delta region.
The suspects were arrested at their hideout in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital by police detectives led by Superintendent of Police Abba Kiyari.
The police team recovered ten AK47 rifles and 19 AK 47 magazines, fully loaded.
The suspects, who smuggled the weapons into the country from Mali through Bokina Faso, were alleged to have concealed the weapons in sacks of yam flour.
Parading the suspects before newsmen at the command’s headquarters, Ikeja, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Umar Mako, said he got an information that a notorious armed robbery suspect identified as Olatunji Tunbosun was stockpiling arms and ammunition at Ikorodu.
He said based on the information, he detailed the officer in charge of SARS, SP Abba Kyari, to investigate.
“Kyari and his boys traced the suspect to a village in Ikorodu, where he was arrested. The police recovered one AK 47 rifle from the suspect. During interrogation, the suspect told the police that a member of the gang who is in charge of smuggling the arms to Nigeria lives in Ibadan, Oyo State. Based on the information, the policemen traced the suspect to Ayegun Adesun area, Olomi bus stop, Ibadan”, he said.
The Lagos State police boss said the suspect confessed that he sold several AK47 rifles and English pistols to buyers in Oyo, Lagos and Anambra States respectively.
In his statement, one of the suspects allegedly named his main supplier as one Gbenga, who resides in Mali. He said after purchase, he would carefully conceal the arms in packs of condensed milk before stuffing them into bags of yam flour.
“I smuggle the arms from Mali into Bokina Faso, then I Way- bill it as cargo using luxury buses to Lagos and finally to Ibadan. Most of my customers are in Onitsha,” he said.
He added that he makes between N80,000 to N100,000 from the sale of one AK47 rifle.