Three citizens of the Republic of Niger have been arrested in Sabon Birni Local Government Area of Sokoto State over arms smuggling.
Speaking during a press conference in Abuja on Friday, the Coordinator of defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche said the suspects are members of a notorious arms smuggling syndicate.
He explained that the foreigners smuggled the special ammunition into the country by concealing them in their vehicle.
Sokoto, usually referred to as Sokoto State to distinguish it from the city of Sokoto, is located in the extreme northwest of Nigeria, near to the confluence of the Sokoto River and the Rima River
“Troops of Operation Sahel Sanity deployed at Forward Operating Base Sabon Birni Local Government Area of Sokoto State on the 15th of August after an undercover operation successfully smashed a notorious illegal arms smuggling syndicate who specialise in massive arms supply to bandits in the northwest from across the international borders.
“The three suspects, all Nigeriens were intercepted at Dantudu in Sabon Birni Local Government Area of Sokoto State with six AK-47 rifles, two AK-47 rifle magazines and 2,415 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition concealed in various parts of their vehicles,” he said.
Speaking further, the defence spokesman said some of the nation’s “security challenges have an external influence.”
Enenche recalled that two foreigners were also arrested in Niger State recently over arms smuggling, adding that the Armed Forces will not relent in tackling the security challenges in the country.
Sokoto has been experiencing a series of attacks from bandits recently with the latest happening on August 17 in the same local government.
Just four days ago, three suspected arms smugglers – Alhaji Adamu Alhassan, Salisu Adamu and Abdullahi Sani were arrested by the troops following credible intelligence.
The suspects were said to be citizens of the Republic of Niger.
The military authorities said preliminary investigation revealed that the dangerous consignment was meant for some bandits in Isah Local Government Area of the state.