Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria Mr. Halal Cakil yesterday assured Nigeria that his country will fish out the criminals behind the shipping of illegal arms to Lagos port.
The envoy gave the assurance when he met with the management of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in Abuja.
At the meeting, NCS Comptroller-General Col. Hameed Ali (retd) expressed concern that four different arm seizures with a total of 2,671 pump action riffles came from one source.
He put it to the envoy that since the seizure emanated from the same Turkey, it suggested complicity of the Turkish authority.
NCS Public Relations Officer Joseph Attah, in a statement yesterday, noted that the meeting lasted for about two hours and the two parties spelt out specific commitments and strategies to contain the situation.
Highlights of the meeting, said Attah, were that the “Turkish Ambassador restated his country’s support for Nigeria’s security and well-being, saying that Turkey will not support any dangerous shipment to Nigeria.
“That all four shipments intercepted were false declarations on the bills of lading; it is a clear case of smuggling.
“The Turkish Ambassador will immediately communicate to his home country, findings from the NCS HQ, with view to fishing out criminals behind the illegal arm shipment to Nigeria.
“That a team of Nigeria Customs Service visits the Turkish Customs to further discuss ways of nipping such arms export from Turkey as well as strengthening agreement on mutual Customs-to-Customs assistance.
“That NCS provides for the Turkish authority, list of prohibited items and in the case forms, sample of End User Certificate to enable them always verify before approving any legal arms export to Nigeria.
“That the Turkish Government will co-operate with Nigeria in every step to deal decisively with those found involved.”
The statement added that the meeting ended with both sides agreeing to work together to stop the dangerous trend.
Both sides, according to Attah, agreed to use the situation as opportunity to strengthen ties to prevent the use of either country as a base for export of harmful items to the other.