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Illegal arms: Fawaz, 3 other Lebanese kept in custody

By IKECHUKWU NNOCHIRI

ABUJA—An Abuja Chief Magistrate Court sitting at Karu, yesterday, gave the Federal Government the nod to keep in the custody of the Department of State Service, DSS, four Lebanese, Mustapha Reda Darwish Fawaz, Talal Roda, Abdulla Tahini and Hussain Nurudeen Kossdi, who were allegedly involved in illegal importation of weapons into Nigeria,

It would be recalled that Fawaz who is the co-owner of Amigo Supermarket and Wonderland Amusement Park in Abuja, was arrested by the Military Joint Task Force, JTF, sequel to his alleged complicity in ownership of a large cache of weapons of different types and calibre.

The weapons were uncovered at an underground bunker at No. 3 Gaya Road, off Bompai Road in Kano, after a combined team of the JTF involving soldiers from third Brigade in Kano and Kano DSS conducted a thorough search of the bunker.

Likewise, Roda who was said to have surreptitiously secured a Nigerian passport was said to have been arrested at the underground bunker by the military operatives.

The weapons recovered included anti-tank weapons, rocket-propelled guns, anti-tank/anti-personnel mines and other dangerous weapons.

According to the security operatives that conducted the search, the arms and ammunition were properly concealed with several layers of concrete and placed in coolers, drums and bags neatly wrapped.

Kano State Director of DSS, Mr Bassey Etang, had maintained that the discovery established suspicion that a terrorist group, Hezbollah, whose foreign operations are mostly coordinated by Lebanese, has a functional cell in Nigeria.

All those arrested during the operation confessed to have undergone training under the Hezbollah terrorist organisation.

The DSS said the arms and ammunition were targeted at facilities of Israeli and Western interest in Nigeria.

Among the weapons discovered and displayed to reporters were 11,433 rounds of 7.6 mm ammunition; 76 military grenade, one SMG rifle, nine pistols, 17 AK-47 rifles, 44 magazines, 103 packs of slap TNT and 50 MM anti-tank grenades, 123 MM artillery guns, four anti-tank landmines, 21 rocket propelled grenades, RPG, 16 RPG chargers, and one RPG tube.

Meantime, Chief Magistrate Muyiwa Oyeyipo ordered that the suspects be remanded and produced in court on June 19.


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