Customs Intercepts 365.4kg pangolin scales, elephant tusks, sacks of used shoes

Customs Intercepts 365.4kg pangolin scales, elephant tusks, sacks of used shoes

The Eastern Marine Command of Nigeria Customs Service recorded  a significant breakthrough in combatting wildlife 
trafficking by intercepting a substantial quantity of pangolin scales, elephant tusks and sacks of used second hand shoes.
The seizure took place in the south-south coastal water-ways along Ibaka-Bakasi beach, highlighting Nigeria’s unwavering 
commitment to the Convention On International Trade In Endangered Species of Wild Fauna And Flora (CITES). 
The operation led by diligent officers of the command resulted in the confiscation of a sizeable consignment of pangolin 
scales and elephant tusks amounting to 365.4kg and six large sacks of used second hand 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) which are highly sought-after in illegal international markets. 
This interception represents a significant 
blow to the illicit trade of these endangered species, reinforcing Nigeria’s determination to protect its wildlife and fulfil its 
obligation under the CITES convention.
The Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Mike Ugbagu thanked the management of the Nigeria Customs Service 
for deploying gunboats and logistic boats to the command. 
 According to the controller, these additional resources greatly enhanced the command's 
ability to patrol and secure the south-south coatsal waterways effectively and combing the beaches effectively.
 The Eastern 
Marine command CAC reiterated his commitment to provide officers with the necessary tools and support needed to 
safeguard the nation's natural resources /habitat.

"The seizure of the pangolins scales and elephant tusks underscores the urgent need for concerted global efforts to combat 
wildlife trafficking. 
These heinous activities not only endanger vulnerable species but also contribute to organize crime and
illicit financial flows. Nigeria, as a responsible member of the international community, remains steadfast in its commitment 
to combating wildlife trafficking and preserving its rich biodiversity," Ugbagu noted.

 The controller commended his officers 
for their dedication and professionalism in executing this operation. The successful seizure of these wildlife products 
showcases the effectiveness of collaborative efforts between the enforcement agencies which the Customs Area Controller 
sought for with the Nigerian Navy and other agencies operating along the waterways of Ibaka-Bakasi beach in curbing the 
illegal wildlife trade and other forms of smuggling. 

 Ugbagu reiterated that the Eastern Marine Command under his watch will continue to intensify its 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.

It should be noted that Nigeria Customs Service is a government agency responsible for facilitating legitimate trade,

enforcing customs laws and combating illicit activities, including wildlife trafficking. 

 The Area Controller  
reinvigorated and strengthened the patrol teams along the waterways for a 24-hour patrol and combing of the beaches.

 This has yielded positive outcomes, leading to the significant seizure the command has just made. 

Also, a highly productive stakeholder engagement parley organized by the Customs Area Controller was held at the 
command’s headquarters in Port Harcourt, bringing together ship owners, agents and key stakeholders from the maritime 

The objective of the parley, according to the controller was to discuss and streamline the process of 
carrying out proper documentation of temporary importation papers, thereby enhancing the ease of doing business in the 
maritime industry in the south-south waterways. This parley showcase a strong commitment to facilitating international 
trade and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirement. Ship owners, agents and representatives from various maritime 
enterprises actively participated in the discussions, sharing their experiences, challenges and valuable insights.

The event served as a platform for open dialogue and constructive engagement, allowing stakeholders to address common 
issues and propose practical solutions for improving the documentation process of temporary importation papers. 
 The stakeholders expressed their appreciation to the Controller for such a meeting has not been held for a long time in the command.
Comptroller Ugbagu called on the general public to assist the command with more useful information on the trade of 
illicit wildlife.

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