By Chinonye Anyatonwu
The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), as part of its ongoing efforts to crack down on illegal wildlife trade, has made seizure of pangolin scales and elephant tusks worth over three billion naira.
Attah, made this known to the media, stated that the Strike Force Team, acting upon credible intelligence, stormed the Lekki area of Lagos on the 2nd of February, 2022 and intercepted one Toyota Sienna bus with registration number KRD 541 HH suspected to be loaded with contraband.
Upon joint physical examination, the following items were found: fifteen sacks of pangolin scales weighing 839.4kg, and four sacks of elephant tusks weighing 145kg. all items have a total value of three billion, one hundred and fifty-five million, six hundred and sixty-seven thousand, five hundred naira (₦3,155,667,500.00). Four individuals were also arrested and detained.
According to the P.R.O., the operation was conducted in collaboration with the Wildlife Justice Commission, which targets the illegal trade of wildlife from Africa to Asia. Illegal wildlife trade contravenes Section 63 “E” and “G” of CEMA Cap 45 LFN 2004, and as Nigeria is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora and also a responsible member of the global community, it cannot allow itself to be used as a conduit pipe for illegal wildlife trade.
He also revealed that this marks the fourth major seizure of pangolin scales, ivory, and other assorted wildlife parts in Nigeria within the last thirteen months, and the NCS’s achievement in this regard should be proof of its resolve to fish out and bring all poachers to justice.
Attah further used the opportunity to commend the wildlife Justice Commission for its conti of the public to support the Service by providing timely information that would help in crippling the criminal network of illegal wildlife trade in Nigeria.
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