The Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone ‘C’ Owerri, has disclosed that it intercepted a truck carrying bales of military wears that were illegally imported into the country by yet to be identified persons, reports NAN.
Also confiscated were cartons of pharmaceutical drugs containing cough syrups with codein, diazepam, tramadol injection and tablets recently banned by the Federal Government.
Addressing newsmen in Owerri, the Controller of the Zone, Mr Kayode Olusemire, said the items were concealed in a truck laden with household wares around the Bridge Head in Onitsha, Anambra.
He listed the military wears to include 90 pairs of camouflage trousers and shirts, 97 pairs of jungle hats, 40 pieces of jungle boots, 202 pieces of round neck vest and rolls of plain khaki materials.
Olusemire said the seizure was made possible following a tip off and warned those who deal on contraband to have a rethink as the service was determined to rid the nation of banned products.
He said that two persons had been arrested in connection with the crime while investigations were on to unmask those behind the illicit trade.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Zonal Command had on July 31, also confiscated a truck laden with over 4,000 pairs of military camouflage uniforms and 300 pairs of combat boots seized on Aba-Eleme axis of Aba-Port Harcourt highway.
The controller explained that the seizure was a product of a new paradigm shift put in place by the Customs authority to contain the rampant and unpatriotic culture of smuggling of contraband into the country by some unpatriotic Nigerians.
“The exhibit was craftily hidden behind the last items in the truck as a clever strategy to beat customs checkpoints on the roads.
“The military uniforms and other military items were loaded in Onitsha but we do not know the country from where they were smuggled,” he said.
Olusemire decried the persistent upsurge of smuggling in the country in spite of obvious severe penalties for culprits.
He said that men of the service were now better trained, equipped, motivated and mobilised to deal with those trapped in the nefarious business of smuggling.
According to him, the nation’s economy has continued to suffer set back due to the activities of smugglers and their agents.
He appealed to well-meaning Nigerians with useful information to make such information available to Customs men and other security agencies for necessary action.
Olusemire pointed out that tramadol, codeine, Juhel D5 were dangerous to human system, saying that was the rationale behind banning them in Nigeria.
“Is there any war at present in any part of the country. Why the importation of military camouflage to a greater quantity like this.
“It is very unfortunate that devil minded smugglers can go ahead to import this quantity of camouflage into the country,” he said. “For my men and I, we are prepared to work assiduously and to get the work done,” he added.