The Area Command of the Nigeria Customs in Minna has intercepted a truck load of 200,000 live ammunition, the Comptroller, Benjamin Binga has disclosed.
The Area Command comprises of Kogi, Kwara and Niger states.
The Onitsha-bound truck was intercepted along the Wawa-Babana border on its way into the country from Benin Republic at about 3am on Monday.
Two suspects, the driver, Bukari Dauda and the owner of the cartridges, Martin Anokwara, were apprehended along with the consignment when the vehicle, an Iveco Truck with Lagos registration number AKD 904 XE was intercepted.
Mr Binga said that the truck on the surface was supposed to be carrying over 100 empty gerrycans, but after thorough search by men of the command, a false bottom which was used to hide the cartridges was discovered.
“The checking was not from tip off, it was just out of sheer curiosity that my men decided to do a thorough checking and discovered that unlike other bottoms of trucks, this one had nuts and on removing the nuts, they discovered it was a false bottom which revealed the cartridges.
“The cartridges are numbering thousands, it would take us hours to count it. We are now working to establish what the cartridges are really meant for and who sent them to bring it into the country,” he explained.
The driver of the truck, Bukari Dauda, said during the interrogation that he is from Cotonu in Benin Republic, adding that he was commissioned by the driver, Martin Anokwara, to drive the truck for him to Onitsha.
Dauda said that he did not know that the truck contained live cartridges as Martin only told him he wanted to take the empty gerrycans back to Nigeria.
The owner of the cartridges, Martin Anokwara, admitted ownership of the cartridges just as he said that it was not meant for robbery .
According to him, he supplies hunters and licensed owners of double barrel guns adding that he only sells them in Anambra.
He said he had to contract Dauda to drive him back to Nigeria because the driver of the truck fell sick.
Binga said the suspects would be charged to court on completion of investigation by the command.