The members of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) arrest 2 suspects who were alleged to be in possession of 15 sacks of pangolin scales weighing 1,014.5kg with an estimated street value of over ₦1.7 billion.
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News of the arrest was revealed on Monday by The National Public Relations Officer, NSC, DC Joseph Attah, who aid said two suspects were arrested with the items. In his words;
“This criminality was not essentially a Nigerian thing, sadly some foreigners with active connivance of few Nigerians are bent on using our dear country as a transit route for illegal wild life trade,” and DNA test would be conducted on the seized scales to pinpoint the exact country the Pangolin scales originated from.
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DC Joseph Attah further disclosed that those who bought Pangolin scales were not Nigerians but from Asian countries and well developed countries, stating that Nigerians that were involved were lured by money to provide warehouse where the parts could be stored once they gain admittance into the country.
“Today we are here to showcase the success story of the NCS’s ongoing crackdown on illegal wild life trade of Pangolin scales.
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“In the course of further investigation to arrest other members of the gang, we received another credible intelligence from the same international partner, Wildlife Justice Commission, and swiftly deployed our intelligence operatives with the Strike Force as a SWAT team.
“This led to the interception of One Mercedes Benz Bus with registration number BGT 256 LG along Kudirat Abiola Way Oregun, Ikeja, Lagos,” he said.
The CGC said that upon examination, the bus was found to contain the following: pangolin scales; 60kg, 35kg, by 54kg, 64kg, 66kg, 58kg, 50kg, 73kg, 61kg, 64kg, 92kg, 89kg, by 60kg, by 92.5kg totaling 1,009.5kg and one sack of Pangolin Claws by 5kg all totaling 1,014.5kg with a DPV of N1. 7 billion.
He named the two suspects already arrested in connection with the seizure as: Salif Sanwidi and Sunday Ebenyi, adding that they would be charged to court to answer for their crimes.
“For the avoidance of doubt, illegal wild life trade contravenes Section 63 “e” and “g” of CEMA Cap 45 LFN 2004.