The Nigeria Customs Service has intercepted 15 sacks of pangolin scales valued at N1.7billion in Lagos.
The Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (retd), disclosed this at a media briefing in Abuja.
Ali, who was represented at the briefing by the Customs’ National Public Relations Officer, Joseph Attah, expressed concern at the increasing number of foreign nationals involved in illegal trade in Nigeria.
He said: “This criminality was not essentially a Nigerian thing; sadly, some foreigners with the active connivance of few Nigerians are bent on using our dear country as a transit route for illegal wildlife trade.
“Today, we are here to showcase the success story of the NCS’s ongoing crackdown on illegal wildlife trade.
“You will recall that two months ago, NCS, acting on credible intelligence provided by our international partners, announced the seizure of wildlife’s items worth N22bn with arrested suspects currently facing prosecution.
“In the efforts to arrest other members of the gang, we received another credible intelligence from the same international partner, Wildlife Justice Commission, and swiftly deployed our intelligence operatives with the Strike Force as a SWAT team.
“This led to the interception of one Mercedes Benz Bus with registration number BGT 256 LG along Kudirat Abiola Way in Oregun, Ikeja, Lagos.
“For the avoidance of doubt, illegal wildlife trade contravenes Section 63 ‘e’ and ‘g’ of CEMA Cap 45 LFN 2004.
“Nigeria is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. As a responsible member of the global community, we cannot allow our nation to be used as a conduit pipe for illegal trade in wildlife.
“We remain committed to the quarterly meeting with embassies of the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany and welcome on board other International organizations that are joining the fray.
“NCS appreciates this working synergy and looks forward to more.”
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