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Top customs official digs into UNMISS’ dealings

The top official at the Customs Service has accused the UN mission in the country of abusing the status of forces agreement or SOFA.

SOFA was signed a month later after the independence in 2011, between the government and the UNMISS.

“Since 2007, these guys are bringing everything in this country. Whiskey and cigarette under SOFA agreement,” the Director-General of Customs Service revealed.

UNMISS, Gen. Ayii said has a sub-contractor called try-star Company, an Indian company which has been dealing in these goods.

However, he said the government would soon review the tax exemption policy regarding UN agencies in South Sudan.

This comes after the institution found out that it has been losing billions of pounds to some goods imported by the UN agencies and humanitarian groups.

“I have been in Nimule as chief customs officer for 8 years, so I know any secret of any NGO in this country,” he said.

He questioned the purpose for which these items are brought given the frequency of their importation into the country

“How come the UNMISS brings 200 JET A1 in every month, or even Solar panels and fuel, 200 and 300 every month.”

However, the Convention on the Privileges And Immunities of The United Nations stipulates that the UN, its assets, income and other property shall be exempt from customs duties and prohibitions and restrictions on imports and exports in respect of articles imported or exported by the United Nations for its official use.

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