The Nigeria Customs Service on Friday said it has confiscated two civil model Bell Helicopters after a failed attempt by yet to be identified person to smuggled them into the country.
According to the Customs Area Controller, Mr. Frank Allanah, the helicopters were seized at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, on November 7, 2016 due to inability of the unknown importer to produce end user certificate from the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) in contravention of Section 36 (2) of the Customs and Excise Management Act.
Mr Allanah who put the import duty value of the two helicopters and their accessories at N9, 757,135,240.86 said they have handed them over to the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to aid its fight against the Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeast.
He said the helicopters were flown in as a consignment with Airway Bill Number 17232444403 through the airport.
Officials who examined the consignment found two civil models 412 EP of serial numbers 36608 and 36606 Bell Helicopters respectively, in standard configuration.
In all there were 23 packages weighing 11,475 kg in the consignment.
The choppers were immediately impounded and detained at the Skyways Aviation Handling Company Limited (SAHCOL) shed pending fulfillment of all legal requirements for the importation.