The PTML Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) yesterday intercepted a bale of army camouflage uniform suspected to have been imported illegally into the country.
A suspect was also arrested in connection with the seizure.
Customs Area Controller of the Command, Comptroller Foloruinsho Adegoke, said the military camouflage which was concealed in a Volkswagen vehicle, was discovered during routine physical examination by operatives of the command.
He said the suspect, one Emmanuel Eko, claimed to be serving in the British Army.
“We found in a bus something un-customs. It is a practice that where we have military wears, they are normally imported by military officers and they will write letter to our headquarters to that effect. But in this instance, we have a situation where an individual importer whose name he gave as Emmanuel Eko who claimed to be serving with the British Army but has a Nigerian passport and also a British Army ID card. When you look at the security challenges we have in the country, this can be used to commit one havoc or the other because these terrorists dress like soldiers.”
Adegoke said the importer did not seek required authorisation from the office of the National Security before importing the military wears.
He also said in view of the security challenges confronting the country, measures in ensuring that effective physical examination and intelligence gathering are carried out, must be put in place to check security risks.
The seized items include military wears, berets, jackets, boots, bags and helmets.
He said the suspect will be handed over to State Security Service for further investigation.
The suspect said he brought the items into the country on the request of some serving Nigerian Army operatives whom he said eventually come forward to claim same.
He said “I told them the uniforms are for soldiers and the soldiers have arrived here to claim the uniforms”.
SHIPS & PORTS DAILY recalls that the Comptroller of Area 2 Command, Onne Port of the Nigeria Customs Services, Alhaji Muhammed Magaji, last week said that the Command intercepted about 240 numbers of Army camouflage uniforms and 24 pairs of boots at Onne Port.
Magaji, who displayed the intercepted items to journalists at Onne, last Wednesday, said the military uniforms and boots which were mixed up with other items in a container with registration number 8228311 were discovered during routine examinations and checks by men of the Command.