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  • Crime
  • Updated: May 24, 2024

40-foot container of illegal wildlife products ceased by customs

40-foot container of illegal wildlife products ceased by cus

The Nigeria Customs Service's Special Wildlife Office, NCS, intercepted a 40-foot container of illegal wildlife items in the country's east. 

Three individuals were also arrested in connection with the incident, just six weeks after Vietnamese authorities made a similar seizure.

The Nigeria Customs Service, in a statement made available to journalists and signed by Asst. Comptroller Abimbola Isafiade stated that the operation was carried out by officers from the Federal Operations Unit, FOU, Zone C, in collaboration with the Wildlife Justice Commission.

Isafiade disclosed: “On the 16th of May 2024, in the eastern part of Nigeria, we identified and apprehended the shipper of the 40ft container of illegal wildlife products that was intercepted and reported by Vietnam authorities in April 2024.”

He also revealed that the team arrested a suspected ivory supplier (in addition to the shipper), sending a clear message to other perpetrators of these illegal acts, which violate the Customs Export Guidelines, Nigeria Customs Service Act, and the Endangered Species Act of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, that wildlife trafficking, illegal wildlife trade, and any other form of wildlife crime will not be tolerated.

“We reaffirm NCS’ commitment to support all global initiatives to fight wildlife crime in all its forms. The comptroller in charge of FOU Zone C, Comptroller Mike Ugbagu, has already declared that NCS will continue to follow the money to find all those who benefit from this crime.”

According to the statement, the NCS-WJC alliance is stronger and more committed than ever to disrupting the whole supply chain of illicit wildlife criminal networks operating from Africa to Asia, and the duo has set a gold standard.

It further stated: “The efficient and multi-focused response by NCS to the seizure in Vietnam demonstrates that it is not business as usual concerning the Nigeria-Vietnam trafficking corridor, and NCS’s success in apprehending both the shipper and supplier builds on the three years of successful arrests and prosecutions of key members of local and international IVORY trafficking networks.”

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