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Nigeria Customs Intercepts 397kg Of Pangolin Scales, Arrests 8 Suspects

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Nigeria Customs Service, in collaboration with Wildlife Justice Commission (WJC), has intercepted 397.5 Kilogramme of pangolin scales and arrested 8 suspects in connection with the seizure.

The Public Relations Officer, Deputy Comptroller Timi Bomodi, disclosed this in Abuja on Wednesday.

Bomodi said three of the arrested suspects were identified as Vietnamese.

He added that they were involved in the attempted trafficking of large amount of pangolin scales and ivories through Nigeria.

“Preliminary investigation revealed these three Vietnamese nationals as high-ranking members of a major organised crime group.

“They are involved in the trafficking of ivory, pangolin scales, rhino horns and lion bones from Mozambique and South Africa through Nigeria to Vietnam.

“The three suspects were arrested while sourcing for pangolin scales in Nigeria, 397.5kg of which were found in their possession,” he said.

The public relations officer further said the Nigeria Customs Service, through an intelligence-led operation and collaboration of WJC, was able to confiscate 400 Kg of pangolin scales put up for sale on the illegal network.

He said the two organisations were able to identify other members of the criminal syndicate for arrest.

WJC is an international body that works to disrupt and dismantle networks of illegal wildlife trade.

Bomodi stated that the arrested suspects had been charged to court on various counts bordering on illegal trade in wildlife.

“These arrests came as part of a proactive enforcement operation targeting the top echelon of wildlife traffickers worldwide.

Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=79511

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