June 19, 2024

Wildlife Trafficking: Customs Zone “B” Kaduna Seizes Pagolin Scales Wortths N3.9bn

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Wildlife Trafficking: Customs Zone “B” Kaduna Seizes Pagolin Scales Wortths N3.9bn

By Okezie Nnadi

The Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone “B” Command, Kaduna, on Wednesday, said its operatives intercepted pangolin scales with Duty Paid Value of N3.9bn.

The Customs FOU Zone B, comprises Kaduna, Kano, Jigawa, Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi, Niger, Kogi, Kwara and the Federal Capital Territory.

The Comptroller, Federal Operations Unit, zone “B”, Ahmadu Bello-Shuaibu, who made the disclosure, said one arrest was made in connection with the smuggled pangolin scales.

According to the Comptroller, acting on actionable intelligence, operatives stormed a suburbs of Zuru Town in Kebbi State, discovered and evacuated sacks of pangolin scales which weighed 445.45kg in May 24.

He put the value of the seizure at the international market at N3,955,596,000

The Customs chief said the success of the operation lwas as a result of robust intelligence sharing between the Service and Wild life Office coupled with the determined efforts of operatives to carry out tue arrest.

 

Bello-Shuaibu stated that those involved the illegal trafficking of endangered species were hiding under it to launder money used in procuring drugs, arms and other illegal merchandise.

He said, “our operatives have upped-the-ante in the combat against smuggling of protected species and successfully intercepted a consignment of Pangolin scale and its derivatives within Kebbi state axis of the Zone.

“Acting on actionable intelligence the operatives storm a hideout known as (slaughter house) in the suburbs of Zuru Town in Kebbi State on Friday, May 24 2024 at about 1600hrs.

“The team discovered and evacuated sacks of pangolin scales which were transported to the HQ of FOU Zone ‘B’ in Kaduna. After careful examination and counting, the pangolin scales weighed 445.45kg.

“The value of this seizure at the International market is Three Billion, Nine Hundred and Fifty-Five Million, Five Hundred and Ninety-Six Thousand Naira (#3,955,596,000.00) only.

“Let me once again explain that the pangolin specie is one of the endangered species that is protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flaura (CITES).

“It is instructive that Nigeria is signatory to the CITES Convention and all forms of trading in this species are clearly illegal.”

The Comptroller added that the service was more than ever before determined to partner with CITES to forestall the pangolin and other endangered species from going into extinction.

He also reiterated the commitment and determination of the Unit to continue to enforce Federal Government policies in line with International best practices while calling on the public for cooperation with the NCS on its fight against smuggling.

“We must work together to salvage this country and to actualize the dream of our founding fathers,” he added.

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