… Arrest 2 Suspects
The Controller General of Customs Strike Force, Team A of the Nigeria Customs Service has recorded two seizures of pangolin scales and claws with duty paid value of over N1. 728billion.
The seizures were said to be made along Kudirat Abiola way in Ikeja, Lagis.
Addressing News men in Lagos, the National Public Relations Officer for the service, Deputy Controller Joseph Attah disclosed that two suspects were arrested in connection with the seizures.
Dc Joseph Attach who represented the Comptroller General of Customs, Col Hammed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd), hinted that one of the seizure packed in 15 sacks of pangolin scales weighed 1,009.5kg and one sack of pangolin claws by 5kg with DPV of N1,728,788,750.00.
According to Attach, smuggling of such prohibited items is the journey towards making Nigeria a no go area for such illicit trades.
Giving a breakdown of the seizures, the national PRO said “You will recall that Nigeria Customs Service acting on credible intelligence provided by our international partners announced wild life seizures of over #22billion 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 intelligence operatives with the Strike Force as a SWOT team. This lead to the interception of one Mercedes Benz bus with registration number BGT 256LG along Kudirat Abiola way, Oregun, Ikeja Lagos.
“Upon 100% examination, the bus was found to contain pangolin scales by 60kg, pangolin scales by 35kg, pangolin scales by 54kg, pangolin scales by 64kg, pangolin scales by 66kg, pangolin scales by 58kg, pangolin scales by 50kg, pangolin scales by 73kg, pangolin scales by 91kg, pangolin scales by 61kg, pangolin scales by 64kg, pangolin scales by 92kg, pangolin scales by 89kg , pangolin scales by 60kg and pangolin scales by 92.5kg making a total of 1,009.5kg. Also one sack of pangolin claws by 5kg. He quipped.
He hinted that the two suspect arrested in connection to the seizure, Mr David Sanwidi and Mr Sunday Ebenyi will be charged to court to answer for their crime.
He added that illegal wild in life trade contravenes section 63 ‘e’ and ‘g’ of CEMA Cap 45 LFN 2004, noting that Nigeria and is a signatory to Convention in on International Trade in Endangerd Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. ” As responsible member of the global community, we can not allow our nation to be used as a conduit pipe for illegal trade on wild life. Dc Attach said.
Also speaking, an official of the Federal Ministry of Environment, representing the focal point for CITES, Mr Oluyemi Babajide , said that at the completion of the prosecution processes, the seizures will be handed over to Nigeria Environmental Enforcement Agency (NESREA).