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US Customs seizes firearms and ammunition shipment to Liberia

NORFOLK, Va. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized three firearms and over 200 rounds of ammunition in Norfolk, Va., on October 12 that was concealed inside a shipping container destined for Liberia.

The shipping container, which was shipped from a Minneapolis suburb, was manifested to contain three vehicles and household goods. CBP officers inspected the container contents and discovered the firearms and ammo concealed inside two black barrels.

CBP officers seized firearms and ammo being smuggled to Liberia.

The cache included a Taurus GC3 9mm, a Bersa 380 ACP, and a Hatfield 12-gauge shotgun, four magazines, 159 rounds of 9mm ammunition, 20 rounds of 308 ammunition, and 25 rounds of 12-gauge shells.

Federal law regulates the lawful exportation of firearms, accessories, and ammunition. The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) provides exporters guidance on export requirements.

Additionally, firearms exporters must file an Electronic Export Information (EEI) via the Automated Export System (AES).

Some of the weapons seized last year at the Freeport of Monrovia

No arrests have been made. CBP officers seized the firearms and ammo and notified special agents from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). An HSI investigation continues.

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“Oftentimes, firearms being smuggled out of the United States are destined to the hands of transnational criminal organizations who use those weapons to terrorize or hurt innocent victims,” said Mark Laria, CBP’s Area Port Director for the Area Port of Norfolk-Newport News. “Customs and Border Protection’s border security mission helps protect the defenseless by intercepting these illegally exported firearms.”

This is not the first time that CBP officers in Norfolk has encountered firearms being smuggled out of the United States.

CBP officers seized this Sierra Leone-bound weapons cache in July.

In July, CBP officers discovered an RF-15 semiautomatic rifle, a SIG Sauer SIGM400 rifle, a Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm shield pistol, four magazines, and 77 rounds of ammo while disposing of the contents of an abandoned export shipping container that was destined to Sierra Leone.

And in June, CBP officers seized 35 magazines, four Kevlar helmets, four antenna communication matching units, and three vehicle taillights that were being shipped from Lenoir County, North Carolina, to Brno, Czech Republic.

CBP’s border security mission is led at our nation’s Ports of Entry by CBP officers and agriculture specialists from the Office of Field Operations. CBP screens international travelers and cargo and searches for illicit narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, counterfeit consumer goods, prohibited agriculture, invasive weeds and pests, and other illicit products that could potentially harm the American public, U.S. businesses, and our nation’s safety and economic vitality.-Press release.

About US Customs and Border Protection

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the comprehensive management, control, and protection of our nation’s borders, combining customs, immigration, border security, and agricultural protection at and between official ports of entry.

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