The Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), on Wednesday disclosed that the Service’s Zone A Strike Force Unit intercepted pangolin scales and elephant tusks worth N3.1 billion in Lagos.
Ali, at a press briefing in Lagos, said the seizures were carried out on the 2nd of February, 2022 at the Lekki area of the state.
Represented by the outgoing National Public Relations Officer of the Service, Comptroller Joseph Attah, the Comptroller General said the feat was achieved barely three months after the Unit intercepted sacks of pangolin scale worth N1.7 billion.
He also recalled that in August, 2021 the Unit intercepted sacks of Pangolin scales worth N22 billion in Lagos.
On the latest siezure, Ali explained that the interception was made from a Sienna bus with registration number KRD 541 HH in Lekki area of Lagos.
The Comptroller General noted that the sting operation and interception was the fourth major seizure of pangolin scales, ivory and other assorted wildlife parts in Nigeria within the last 13 months.
He elaborated: “On the 2nd of February, 2022, upon credible intelligence, the CGC’s Strike Force stormed Lekki area of Lagos and intercepted one Toyota Sienna bus with registration number KRD 541 HH with chassis: STDZA23C955338572 suspected to be loaded with un-Customs goods. Immediately, the vehicle with its content, including 4 occupants (all Nigerians) were taken to the station and detained.
“Upon 100 percent physical examination, the following items were found: fifteen sacks of pangolin scales and four sacks of elephant tusks. Total quantity of Elephant tusks intercepted is 145kg while total quantity of Pangolin scales is 839.4kg with a total value of N3.2 billion.
“The operation was conducted in collaboration with the Wildlife Justice Commission, targeting the illegal trade of wildlife from Africa to Asia. What you are seeing today is the fourth major seizure of Pangolin scales, ivory and other assorted wildlife parts in Nigeria within the last 13 months.”
“We wish to specifically commend the Wildlife Justice Commission for their continued commitment to this cause through provision of credible and actionable intelligence. Nigeria Customs appreciates this working synergy and look forward for more”, Ali added.