Customs intercepts lion bones, pangolin scales worth N952m
Speaking during a press briefing yesterday, Abba-Kura said the contrabands were in a 20-feet container
with the number CSLU 2362640, heading to Haiphong, Vietnam.
He said the items, comprising 162 sacks of pangolin scales weighing 8,800kgs and 57 sacks of mixed
endangered species of various sizes such as ivory/animal horns, lion bones, and others were falsely declared
as furniture components.
He added that the total weight of the items stood at 854,719 tonnes, valued at N952 million.
“On January 21, based on credible intelligence, Customs operatives at the export seat of Apapa command,
successfully detected and arrested one unit of 20-feet container which was processed for export and falsely
declared as a furniture component.
“Immediately the container was opened, logs were seen in front, and upon 100 percent physical examination
of the container, elephant tusks, and the pangolin scales were seen concealed by the logs,
” he said. He said that an agent had been arrested and detained after an unnamed lady was picked
by operatives. The comptroller said that after due investigation, the customs service headquarters
would take appropriate against the suspects, saying: ‘’The Convention of International Trade in
Endangered Species (CITES 1973) entails
that Customs Administration all over the world protect wildlife by intercepting illegal trade on
such animals.“Pangolins – scaly, shy and sensitive – are believed to be the world’s most
trafficked nonhuman mammals accounting for as much as 20 percent of all illegal wildlife trade.
“Their scales that are made of keratin (the material in fingernails) have no scientific proven curative
properties but are in high demand for use in traditional Chinese medicine,’’ he added.