The Nigerian Customs Service has intercepted Pangolin scales and tusks and bones from endangered species worth N952 million, allegedly bound for export to Vietnam.
This is according to a senior customs official yesterday.
The Area Comptroller, Mohammed Abba-Kura, said the items concealed in a container of furniture materials intercepted by Customs operatives at Apapa port in Lagos on January 21.
The Comptroller noted that the total haul weighed 8,800 kilograms (19,400 pounds) and valued at 952 million ($2.5 million, 2.07 million euros) on the black market.
According to him, the consignment was heading to Hai Phong, Vietnam before it was intercepted, and a suspect had been arrested over the shipment.
What Mohammed Abba-Kura said
“Immediately the container was opened, logs were seen in front, and upon 100 percent physical examination of the container, elephant tusk and the Pangolin scales were seen concealed by the logs.
“The items, falsely declared as furniture, comprised 162 sacks of Pangolin scales… and 57 sacks of mixed endangered species of various sizes such as ivory/animal horns, lion bones and others.”
What you should know
- Pangolins are believed to be the world’s most trafficked mammals accounting for as much as 20 percent of all illegal wildlife trade.
- Nigeria has made huge seizures of illegal animal parts in recent years in line with the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).