False Declaration: Apapa Customs Seize 162 Sacks Of Pangolin Scales, 57 Sacks Of Mix Endangered Species


 … Arrest One Suspect

The Apapa Area Command of Nigeria Customs Service in its anti-smuggling exploits has on Tuesday announced  the arrest and seizure of a 20feet container with registration number CSLU 2362640 at the export seat.

The container which was arrested based on credible intelligence was found to contain  162 sacks of pangolin scales and 57 sacks of mixed endangered species.

Briefing journalist at the Commands headquarters in Apapa, Lagos, the Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Mohammed Abba-Kura disclosed that On Thursday, 21st January, 2021 based on credible intelligence, Customs Operatives at the Export seat of Apapa Command were successful at detecting and arresting one unit of 20 feet container which was processed for export and falsely declared as Furniture Components in an attempt to evade arrest.                       

He stated that upon 100% physical examination, it was found to contain: –  162 sacks of pangolin scales weighing 8,800 kg. –  57 sacks of mixed endangered species of various sizes such as Ivory/animal horns, lion bones etc destined for Haiphong, Vietnam. 

Giving a breakdown of the seizure, Abba-Kura hinted that the total weight of the items seized  stood at 854,719 tonnes and valued at Nine hundred and fifty-two million Naira (N952,000,000).
According to him, the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES 1973) entails that Customs Administration all over the world protects wildlife by intercepting illegal trade  on  such  animals.  Pangolins—scaly,  shy,  and  sensitive—are  believed  to  be  the world’s  most trafficked  nonhuman  mammals,  accounting for as much  as  20% of all illegal wildlife trade. 

He added that their scales, which are made of keratin (the material in fingernails) have  no  scientifically  proven  curative  properties  but  are  in  high  demand  for  use  in traditional  Chinese  medicine.  Consequently,  all  eight  species  are  threatened  with extinction. 
He hinted that experts has estimated that more than a million pangolins were poached from 2000 through to 2014 despite a 2017 ban on international commercial trade of the scales.
He however disclosed that one suspect has been arrested in connection to the seizure  “Presently one suspect “Mr Felix Oname (m)” of No. 17 Chief Joseph Udeth Street, Egan  Igando-Lagos  is  currently  in  detention  and  is  being  interrogated.
 “After  due investigation,  the  Service  headquarters  will  take  necessary  action  in  line  with environmental laws, guidelines, protocols, conventions and treaties on environment.  

  For the avoidance of doubt, our action of impounding this container is in line with the provisions of Section 147 of Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) Cap 45, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004″ he says.

He said further that the seizure is inline with schedule 6 of the Common External Tariff. To this end, all efforts will be geared towards ensuring that such dangerous and harmful environmental crimes are detected and prevented. Equally, all economic saboteurs will be made to face the full wrath of the law.


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