Nigerian customs agents seize weapons, cough syrup in twin busts

Nigerian customs agents have seized more than 800 rifles and 100,000 rounds of ammunition hidden in a shipping container, a senior official said on Monday, highlighting the country's struggle against firearm trafficking linked to rising crime, Reuters reports.

Customs Comptroller-General Bashir Adewale Adeniyi said the weapons found on June 21 had been concealed in a container alongside furniture and other goods that had been loaded in Turkey. The haul included various rifle models and ammunition.

"We have three suspects in our custody after securing a detention warrant from a competent court," Adeniyi told reporters, adding that investigations were ongoing.

The rifles and ammunition will be handed over to the office of Nigeria's security adviser for further investigation and prosecution, Adeniyi said.

In another customs bust on June 29, officials seized more than a million bottles of codeine cough syrup and millions of prescription painkiller tablets, he said. Opioid abuse is widespread in Nigeria and traffickers often smuggle codeine cough syrup.

Adeniyi said the containers loaded with the medicines were wrongly declared in an attempt to evade customs duties and import restrictions.