Customs arrest Chinese with 218 Elephant Tusks, 55 sacks of Pangolin Shells
Federal Operations Unit Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service has halted the illegal export of 218 pieces of elephant tusks and 55 sacks of Pangolin shells by two Chinese nationals.
The Controller, FOU Zone A, Comptroller Mohammed Garba told our reporter that the Pangolin shells which weighed 2001kg is valued at Four Hundred and Eight Thousand, Three Hundred and Nineteen, Three Hundred and Seventeen Naira, Six Kobo (N408, 319, 317. 6); while the 218 pieces of elephant tusks said to weigh 343kg is valued at Eighty Five Million, One Hundred and Fifty Six Thousand, Six Hundred and Forty Nine Naira, Ninety Six Kobo (N85, 156, 649.96).
The Controller explained that trading in this category of wildlife is illegal and criminal under the Convention of International Trade in Endangered species (CITES 1973), and that the Nigeria Customs Service will continue to protect wildlife by intercepting illegal trade on these category of animals.
Mohammed said while one of the Chinese absconded and at large, the second was not so lucky as he was arrested by operatives of the customs, adding that the arrested foreigner has however been admitted on bail according to law. The items were handed over to the Lagos State Coordinator of NESREA, Mr. Nosa Aigbejo.
In general, the Unit made seizures of various contraband for the month ended February 2018, with a Paid Duty Value of One Billion, Thirty Million, Two Hundred and Thirty Two Thousand, Forty Six Naira, Thirteen Kobo (N1, 35, 232,046.13). Giving the break down the Controller listed the seized items to include 18 assorted vehicles, 4,201 bags of foreign parboiled rice, 2,619 pieces of used tyres and 1,333 bales of used clothing, including the elephant tusks and pangolin shells
Mohammed said the detained vehicles include 1 Rolls Royce, 1 Chrysler, 1 Audi Q7, 1 Land Rover HSE, 1 Toyota Venza, 1 Ford Taurus and 1 Honda Cross Tour. Others are 4 Mercedes Benz, 3 Kia Rio and 1 Escalade, amongst others, all of which are 2008 to 2015 model. Also seized is a 1x2ft container for false declaration. A total of 17 suspects were arrested in respect of the seizures, including the Chinese, Mr. KO Sia Ying.