Illegal wild life trade : Customs Strike Force intercepts N1.7bn Pangolin Scales

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  • Arrests 2 suspects

The Coordinator, Customs Strike Force in Zone ‘A’, Deputy Comptroller – DC Ahmadu Shuaibu and his team have intercepted Pangolin Scales worth N1.7billion in monetary value.

This huge seizure of Pangolin Scales by DC Shuaibu and his operatives is coming just after few weeks, the same team intercepted Donkey hides, unprocessed woods valued at over N643.7million.

The recurring seizure of this magnitude by the Strike Force team has clearly demonstrated the success story of Nigeria Customs on total
crackdown on illegal wild life trade.

Addressing reporters during a press conference in Lagos, the National Public Relations Officer of the Service, Comptroller Joseph Attah, said :

“Though this criminality is not essentially a Nigerian thing, sadly some foreigners with active connivance of few Nigerians are bent on using our dear Country as a transit route for illegal wild life trade.

“You will recall that Nigeria Customs Service acting on credible Intelligence provided by our international partners announced wild life Seizure of over one billion with arrested suspects currently facing prosecution.
In the course of further investigation to arrest other members of the gang, we received another credible intelligence from same international partner, Wild Life Justice Commission, and swiftly deployed our operatives, with the Strike Force as a SWOT team.

” This led to the interception of a Mercedes Benz Bus with registration number BGT 256 LG along Kudirat Abiola Way Oregun, tkeja, Lagos. Upon 100 percent examination, the bus was found to contain the following: Pangolin Scales by 60kg Pangolin Scales by 35kg Pangolin Scales by 54kg Pangolin Scales by 64kg Pangolin Scales by 66kg Pangolin Scales by S8kg bangolin Scales by 50kg
Pangolin Scales by 73kg
Pangolin Scales by 9ikg Pangolin Scales by 6lkg
Pangolin Scales by 64kg Pangolin Scales by 92kg Pangolin Scales by 89kg Pangolin Scales by 60kg Pangolin Scales by 92.Skg

Pangolin Scales = 1,009.5kg One Sack of Pangolin Claws by 5kg Total = 1,014.5kg with duty paid value (DPV) of N1,728,788,750.00 (N1.7 billion).”

He revealed :
‘Two suspects had already been arrested in connection with this Seizure. They are Mr Salif Sanwidi and Mr Sunday Ebenyi. They will also be charged to court to answer for their crime”.

He informed :
“For the avoidance of doubt, illegal wild life trade contravenes Section 63 “e” and “g” of CEMA Cap 45 LFN 2004. Nigeria is a signatory to Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. As responsible member of the global community, we cannot allow our nation to be used as a conduit pipe for illegal trade on wild life.
We remain committed to the quarterly meeting with embassies of USA, UK and Germany and welcomes on board other International organisations that are joining.

‘We commend wild life Justice Commission for their continuous strong commitment to this course through provision of credible and actionable intelligence, including technical aids. The Service appreciates this working synergy and looks forward to more.”

His words :
“We call on members of the Public to support the Service by providing timely information that will help us cripple this criminal network of illegal wild life trade through our Country.
As a Service, we give assurances of strict confidentiality and swift action(s) that will yield positive results”.

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