Saturday, December 6, 2014 9:11 pm
*Weapons meant for Republic of Chad
Nigerian security operatives at the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA), Kano, on Saturday seized a Russian plane carrying arms and ammunition.
The plane was also said to be carrying two helicopters and bullet proof vests.
The plane, which was bound for N’djamena, Chad Republic, landed at the airport around 2.15a.m. on Saturday.
According to the source, the crew members are being detained by security agents following the discovery of the arms including many AK47 rifles and other items.
“Security has since been beefed up at the airport in order to ensure proper investigation’’, the source said.
The General Manager of Communication, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr Yakubu Datti, confirmed the seizure of the plane.
He said the pilot sought for permission to land at the airport following a technical problem with the aircraft.
“The plane had a technical problem and the pilot sought for permission to land at the airport’’, he said.
Datti added that security agencies had since commenced investigation into the matter.
The Russian embassy in Abuja did not immediately respond to a request for comment, said Reuters.
It was not clear what the shipment was for. Chadian fighters have been involved in Central African Republic’s conflict since Muslim Seleka rebels seized the southern capital Bangui in 2013.
Mysterious arms shipments have caused controversy in Nigeria before. A Nigerian court sentenced an alleged member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and a Nigerian accomplice to five years in prison in May last year over an illegal shipment of mortars and rockets seized in the main port of Lagos in 2010.