The award winning and no nonsense Federal Operations Unit (FOU) command of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) led by Comptroller Mohammed Uba, has continued to make life uncomfortable for smugglers as it impounds pangolin scales.
According to the Comptroller, “on Monday 5th March 2018 at about 1600hrs, the Warehouse Operations Team led by Assistant Comptroller Mutalib Sule while on credible intelligence again searched an apartment at No. 64 Opebi Road, Off Toyin Street, Ikeja Lagos and evacuated the following after physical examination:
“329 sacks Of Pangolin Scales weighing 8,492kg with a duty paid value of N1,732,857,393.96(One Billion, Seven Hundred and Thirty Two Million, Eight Hundred and Fifty Seven Thousand, Three Hundred And Ninety Three Naira, Ninety Six Kobo Only).
“Mr. Li Chaomin, a Chinese national was apprehended in connection to this seizure, making it two Chinese Nationals in a roll in relations to goods banned for export.
“You will recall that in the month of February also we evacuated 55 sacks of the same pangolin and 218 pieces of elephant tusks, which were all, handed over to NESREA.
- The Convention of International Trade in Endangered species (CITES 1973) entails that Customs Administration all over the world protects wild life by intercepting illegal trade on such animals. As you are aware, Pangolins are the only known mammals that have large and protective keratin scales covering their skin. After a surge in poaching across Asia, the international illegal wildlife trade is now also a growing threat to African pangolin species. These scales were sourced from other African countries to be trafficked.
“The seized items and the suspect will be handed over to Nigeria Environment Standards and Regulatory Enforcement Agency (NESREA) for further investigation”.