The Kirikiri Lighter Terminal (KLT) command of the Nigeria Customs Service yesterday handed over a 40-feet container laden with 732 roles of plain army uniform and 666 camouflages to officials of the Department of State Security Service (DSS).
Controller of the command, Comptroller Lami Wushishi who handed over the military uniforms to DSS’ Director of Intelligence, James Iliya, told journalists that the illegally imported items were concealed with polyester materials imported into the country from China.
Wushishi said the concealed uniforms were discovered during routine physical examination adding that two suspects, the agent and the representative of the importer arrested in connection with the seizures would also be handed over to DSS for further investigation.
She said, “This container was brought in from China and was manifested as polyester materials. We have 220 packages of polyester materials and 150 package of thread but on examination when the container was open, we saw the polyester materials but three quarter of the container has military uniform consisting of 732 roles of plain army uniform and 666 camouflage, one type for the army and the another type for the Joint Task Force (JTF).”
Comptroller Wushishi explained that military uniforms are regulated items which are exempt from duty payment and can only be imported with necessary permits issued by the Federal Government.
She said in view of the security challenges confronting the country; importation of such items should not be treated with kid gloves.
“Due to the security nature we have in the country, such consignment should not come in. Moreover, army uniforms are exempted from payment of duty under schedule two of items exempted from duty payment. So it beats our imagination. Why would they conceal army uniform in this container if they don’t have an ulterior motive to it?
“The items are regulated and you need a permit to bring in either military or paramilitary uniforms, so due to our collaboration we are handing over the military uniforms and two suspects to the DSS for further investigation,” she said.
The Customs Comptroller reiterated the need for licensed clearing agents to make honest declaration. She said those who make genuine declaration would take delivery of their consignment faster at the command.
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