Nigeria Customs Service intercepts pangolin scales worth over N3bn, arrests suspects

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Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘B’ anti-smuggling operatives have seized a consignment of Pangolin scale and its derivatives within Kebbi state axis of the Zone, with value at the International market of over N3.9 billion.

While briefing journalists in Kaduna on Wednesday, Ahmadu Bello Shuaibu,
Comptroller Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘B’ Kaduna,said a suspect was arrested in connection with the seizure while the main suspect was currently at large.

“You may recall that during our recent briefing on May 21, 2024, we declared our resolve not to allow illegal trading in endangered wildlife species and other smuggling activities to thrive in the Zone.”

“Between that time and today which is barely two weeks, 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,” he said.

The Comptroller explained that while “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.”

“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 Nigeria Customs Service will continue to partner CITES to forestall the identified species from going into extinction.”

“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.”

He said one suspect was arrested in connection with the seizure while the main suspect was currently at large. “However, the Unit in collaboration with other sister agencies will not rest on its oars until the main suspect is arrested and brought to book.”

“The offence contravene Section 55 (1) paragraph C and I of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Act 2023.”

“The success of this operation lies in robust intelligence sharing between the NCS and Wild life Office and the resilience by operatives of the Unit to leverage and utilize the coordinates given to them to make this arrest.We wish to put it on record that the success of the operation is unique in that it was casualty free.”

“From empirical evidence, we make bold to say that those involved in the illegal trafficking of endangered species are hiding under it to launder money used in procuring drugs, arms and other illegal merchandise. You can imagine the havoc this may have caused if it had escaped the eagle eyes of our operatives.”

“l wish to call on the general public to continue to cooperate and stand 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. May l at this juncture repeat that the Unit shall continue to enforce the Federal Government policies in line with International best practices, no matter the campaign of calumny against the Service,” he said.

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