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Customs smokes out Chinese trafficker in Elephant tusks, pangolin shells in Lagos

More proceeds of intensified surveillance against illicit trade and smuggling in banned substances have been recorded by the leadership of the Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).

The latest feat came as the Command announced the interception of sacks of elephant tusks and pangolin shells in a warehouse at No. 38, Ogundana Street, Off Allen Avenue, Ikeja, with a combined Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N493.5 million.

During the raid, a Chinese suspect, Mr. Ko Sin Ying, was arrested in connection with the items whose export breaches international protocols and conventions of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Addressing newsmen in Lagos, the Comptroller, Mohammed Uba Garba, said the seizures comprised 55 sacks of pangolin shells weighing 2001kg and valued at N408.32 million, and 218 pieces of elephant tusk weighing 343kg and valued at N85.2 million.

According to him, his team, acting on intelligence, had mounted surveillance on the area and on a tip-off, raided the apartment where the security confirmed the occupant to be a Chinese national, Mr. Ko Sin Ying.

According to Uba, export of such endangered species of animals like elephant and pangolin breaches international protocols and conventions. According to him, the United Nations Charter on the Preservation of Endangered Species entails that Customs administrations globally protect wildlife by intercepting illegal trade on such animals.

While noting that “It further prevents the killings of endangered species since the tusks are only available after the killing of the elephant or pangolin,” the Comptroller averred that the items would be handed over to the Nigerian Environmental Standards and Regulatory Enforcement Agency (NESREA) for further investigations.

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