By Chinonye Anyatonwu
The Nigeria Customs Service, (NCS) has intercepted and seized Pangolin scales,Claws and Elephant Tusks worth #22,283,747,850.00 .
Briefing the media men yesterday at the Customs Training School, Ikeja, Lagos,
the Controller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd) said the seizure is in line with Section 63 “e” and “g” of CEMA, Cap 45 LFN 2004 as amended.
“It also falls under Export Prohibition Schedule V1 of the extant Common External Tariff which prohibits their exportation.
According to CGC,
“I am happy to announce that our extensive collaboration yielded credible intelligence that triggered swift and comprehensive actions by the Customs Intelligence Unit and the Headquarters Strike Force. This led to the evacuation of sacks of different kilogrammes of Pangolin scales and Elephant tusks at a location on the Eastern side of Ijeoma street, Lekki, Lagos State”.
Breakdown of the seized items showed that they comprised of 17,137.40kg of pangolin scales in 196 sacks, 870.44 kg of Elephant tusks and 4.6kg pangolin claws, “all with estimated value of #22,283,747,850.00”.
The CGC Strike Force headed by the focused Deputy Controller of Customs, DC Ahmadu Shuaibu, has been in the forefront of seeking out a lot of illicit trades and smuggler’s points through credible intelligence and sagacious decisions.
It was these qualities as well as his humorous disposition that have endeared him to all thereby giving him access to valuable information.
“Nigeria is a signatory to CITES convention, hence cannot be used as a transit hub.
He stated that ”This feat is a testimony of what sincere collaboration between nations can achieve for our world and individual nations in particular.
“Already, three suspects who are non-nations have been arrested in connection with the seizure, they are Traore Djakonba , Isiak Musa and Mohammed Bereta. The kingpin Berete Morybinet is on the run thinking he can evade the long arm of the law.
Ibrahim-Ali thanked NCS partners for their roles in achieving the feat, stated that security agencies at all entry and exit points are on red alert to track and arrest Morybinet , even as he advised the run away smuggling kingpin to show up in his own interest and surrender himself to the
“The suspects arrested will soon have their date in court as NCS will leave no stone unturned to bring them to justice.”We will extend same treatment to any person or Organisation remotely connected to this or any illegal wildlife trade”.
Col.Ali pointed out that “deforestation and depletion of wildlife, especially the endangered species have been global concern with nations collaborating, sharing intelligence and expertise that will stamp out indiscriminate killing of endangered species.
“In line with global best practice, NCS has been in robust collaboration with embassies of US, UK and Germany with other credible international bodies , already indicating interest to join our quarterly meetings that provide platform for shared experiences.
The CGC in his speech equally thanked the Wildlife Justice Commission and assured of treating every credible information with the utmost confidentiality and swift action to stem the tide of the illegality.
I am therefore happy to announce that our extensive collaboration yielded credible intelligence that triggered Swift and comprehensive actions by the customs intelligent unit and the Headquarters Strikeforce.
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