This Day (Lagos)

11 February 2013

Nigeria: Passengers With Arms Arrested At MMIA

Security officials of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) have arrested passengers with pistols in their luggage at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.

One of the passengers was reported to have flown in from Maryland enroute Atlanta Georgia, USA and arrived at the Lagos airport at about 4.pm on, February 6, aboard Delta Airlines.

Another passenger was reportedly caught by aviation security officials at the domestic terminal, MMA2 on his way to Port Harcourt, the Rivers State Capital.

The passengers are Nigerians whose names were not disclosed for security reasons and who claimed that the guns were brought in from the USA for their personal protection while in Nigeria.

The passenger on Delta flight claimed he declared the gun to the airline before checking in his luggage at the airport of departure.

General Manager, Corporate Communications of (FAAN), Yakubu Dati, said the guns did not pose any threat to any passenger at the time of seizure.

He said the aviation security personnel of the agency would continue to work with other security operatives at the airports to ensure the safety of lives and property.

The Port Harcourt bound passenger checked in on an Aero Contractors flight from Lagos on Thursday but was apprehended by security officers at the terminal, for possessing firearms.

The pistol was discovered in his checked-in luggage.

The Port Harcourt-bound passenger was reported to have tendered the receipt for the purchase of the gun but had since been handed over to security agents for further investigation.

Dati also confirmed the deportation of two Hungarian women from the Lagos airport and attributed it to increased alertness by FAAN's security personnel.

He said that the two Hungarian citizens, Miss Szabone Balatoni Hajnalka and Miss Porge Szabina, were apprehended by intelligence officers "in our Directorate of Aviation Security last Tuesday on their arrival on a Virgin Atlantic Airways flight from London."

Dati also disclosed the arrests of people who infringed on security regulation was due to the changes made by the agency recently when some security officials were transferred out of the airport and replaced by younger officers

"The two passengers, who did not appear to have any genuine reason for being in the country, were later handed over, with their Nigerian accomplice, to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for further investigations.

"These milestones are clearly the benefits of the recent reorganisation in the organisation, especially the directorate of security," Dati said.

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