Dirk Niebel's ministry says the carpet was flown back to Berlin May 20 but Niebel realized only June 6 that customs clearance hadn't been sought and he is now obtaining it. The minister said he "regrets" what happened.
Ministry spokesman Rolf Steltemeier said today Niebel bought the carpet during a visit to Afghanistan in March but couldn't bring it back "for logistical reasons." It was left at the German Embassy, which later informed Niebel's ministry it would be brought home in the plane of the visiting intelligence chief.
Steltemeier said: "We're not sweeping it under the carpet."
Berlin: Germany's development aid minister is on the defensive after it emerged he bought a USD 1,400 carpet in Afghanistan and failed to pay customs duty when it was flown home with Germany's intelligence chief.
First Published: Saturday, June 09, 2012, 00:52