The Nigerian Customs, Eastern Marine Command has Intercepted Pangolin Scales, Others Worth over N680M.
The Nigeria Customs Service, in their efforts to combatting illicit wildlife trade made this seizures of a substantial quantities of pangolin scales, elephant tusks, and sacks of used second handed shoes.
Addressing Newsmen on Tuesday 24th October 2023 in Port Harcourt Rivers State, the seizures where showcased to the public by the Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Mike Ugbagu, emphasized that “the seizure of the pangolins scales and elephant tusks is a red alerts for all to join hands in the fight against global wildlife trafficking.
The Command’s efforts by diligent officers of the command, resulted in the seizure of 365.4 kg of pangolin scales and elephant tusks and six large sacks of secondhand shoes with a total duty paid value (DPV) of Six Hundred And Eighty Million Two Hundred And Ninety Thousand, Four Hundred Naira Only (680,290,400.00). Mike Ugbagu, the Area Controller Stated.
He Maintained that the items were seized in various south-south coastal waterways along Ibaka-Bakasi beach. Highlighting Nigeria’s unwavering commitment to the Convention On International Trade In Endangered Species of Wild Fauna And Flora (CITES).
“These heinous activities not only endanger vulnerable species but also contribute to organized crime and illicit financial flows. One of my commitments is to provide officers with the necessary tools and support to safeguard the Nation’s natural resources/habitat.” He added.
The Area controller appreciated the management of the Nigeria Customs Service for providing them the necessary equipment and logistics as deploying gunboats and boats to the command, Stating, “These additional resources greatly enhanced the command’s ability to patrol and secure the south-south coastal waterways effectively and combing the beaches effectively.”
While commending his officers for their dedication and professionalism in executing the operation, the Command Area Controller noted that the Eastern Marine Command under his watch will continue to intensify efforts in combating wildlife trafficking and protecting Nigeria’s natural heritage.
“This seizure of pangolin scales and elephant tusks sends a strong message to wildlife traffickers in the area that their activities will not be tolerated and they will face severe consequences for their illegal activities if caught.” He said.
He stated that the successful seizure of the wildlife products shows effective collaboration between the enforcement agencies, such as the Nigerian Navy and other agencies operating along the waterways of Ibaka-Bakasi beach.
As Nigeria a responsible member of the international community, remains steadfast in its commitment to combating wildlife trafficking and preserving its rich biodiversity he Said.