Plot To Smuggle 105 Wild Birds In, Out Of Nigeria Foiled By Customs
By Ebenezer William
Officers and men of Nigeria Customs have seized 105 birds from smugglers as they attempted to sneak some in, and another set out of the country through the Seme-Krake border.
This development is coming only five days after intercepting 62 African parrots and a hawk being smuggled out of Nigeria through the same axis.
The Customs Area Controller of Seme Border Command, Comptroller Timi Bomodi revealed this during a press briefing today, even as he condemned the criminal activity by some Nigerian citizens.
Bomodi noted that the species of birds were; Sixty (60) Green parrots, Fourteen (14) Budgerigar Parrots, Six (6) Eastern Rosella Parrots, Two (2) Macaw Parrots, One (1) White Cockatoo Parrots, Four (4) Rose Ringed Parakeets parrots, One (1) Maidain Dock Birds, Three (3) Love Birds, and Four (4) other birds were discovered.
Meanwhile, the Customs boss disclosed that 10 of these birds died due to the trauma of transporting them under a sickening condition.
While reiterating that trade in endangered wildlife contravenes the Convention on International Trade On Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) which is an International Agreement between Governments of which Nigeria is a signatory, the Customs boss stated that the birds have a duty paid value (DPV) of N24,912,928 only.
His words: “On the 27th and 28th of September at about 2100hrs and 1200hrs respectively, Officers and Men of the Nigeria Customs Service, Seme Area Command while on patrol along Seme – Badagry Expressway, intercepted a public transport bus en route from Togo to Nigeria and another bus from Katsina to Benin Republic.”
“The examination of these buses revealed 105 birds including 10 which died due to the trauma of transporting them in this condition. Two suspects were also arrested in connection with the seizure.”
The Comptroller maintained that the perpetrators of this illegal trade will continue to meet their Waterloo as long as they refuse to stay off of the Lagos – Abidjan corridor.
As part of inter-agency collaboration and synergy, the seized parrots and other birds were handed over to the officials of the National Park Service (NPS) with the Conservator of Parks, NPS Okumu, Mr. Osaze Lawrence receiving the birds for the agency.
Speaking on behalf of NPS, Osaze thanked the leadership of Customs and praised the officials at Seme Border who carried out the seizures, stressing that they have helped preserve the nation’s future.
“We are going to do our best to rehabilitate these birds. We have the skilled officials for this role. It is our responsibility to rehabilitate and protect them from further harm.”
“For those birds that were captured from the Nigerian environment, we are going to release them back to the original habitat they came from. Meanwhile, we will do a thorough investigation on the imported birds and send them back to the respective nations,” Osaze said.