17 August 2018, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt — The Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, has again intercepted a container laden with military camouflage uniforms and gears in Rivers State.
The Assitant Comptroller General of Customs, Zone C, Sanusi Umar, while briefing journalist at Onne Area Command, said the 40feet container with military wears was impounded barely two weeks after the Command had intercepted a container with 4400 military wears on 31st of July.
Umar said the two containers were imported into the country by the same company, Ehigocho Nigeria Ltd, with one Mr. Ongwataba Jerry as the prime suspect.
He said the container number of the first is qcCxEWqMRSU 3040298 while the current one is MRKU 4909151, adding that the suspect was invited by the Customs to clear his goods before he was apprehended.
The Zone C Customs boss who heads the South-South and South-East geopolitical zones said four arrests have been made so far, and the suspects have been transferred to Abuja for further investigation and the NCS will continue to profile the containers.
According to him, “After profiling the importer’s transactions, I am happy to inform you that we have arrested another container MRKU 4909151 (1x40ft) belonging to the same company, Ehigocho Nigeria Ltd with Mr. Ongwatabo Jerry as the prime suspect.
“On examination, it was found to contain the following prohibited items; 620set of complete sewn military camouflage uniforms and caps, 10,100 pieces of inn military T-shirts, 512 pairs of military jungles boots.
“The Mr. Ongwatabo Jerry is the sole importer that opens the Form M for the importation of these containers.
“For the first container, four arrests have been made, while on this container we have the key person that opened the Form M at the bank with us.”
He, however, warned that importation of any kind of military wears by an individual, company, or group is prohibited by Nigerian law under the Customs and Excise Management Acts, CEMA.
Meanwhile, the outgoing Comptroller of Port Harcourt Area II, Comptroller Abubakar Bashir, has commended the efforts of the officer and men on the achievements recorded during his stay in the state.
“We have achieved enforcement on non-compliance. My challenges enormous, level of compliance has been very difficult. This is why our seizures are low in recent times.
“Revenue generated within the period has been tremendous. The level of importation has reduced maybe because of the upcoming election.”