Saturday, June 11

Nigerian Customs Arrests Chinese Nationals for Smuggling Elephant Tusks

Nigerian Customs Arrests Chinese Nationals for Smuggling Elephant Tusks

Officials of the Nigerian Customs Service have apprehended Chinese nationals in the illegal trafficking of elephant tusks

Attempts by two Chinese nationals to smuggle 678 pieces of elephant tusks and other prohibited items out of Nigeria failed on Friday as they were arrested by the officials of the Nigerian Customs Service at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.

The other prohibited items seized from the suspected smugglers included eight sacks of pangolin weighing 381 kilogrammes.

The suspects’ action was said to have contravened Schedule 6 of the Nigerian Exports Prohibition List, which prescribes as illegal any attempt to export wild animals and endangered species.

The Customs Area Comptroller, MMIA Command, Frank Allannah, however, said the suspects had been remanded in custody pending further investigation.

Allannah said the impounded items would be handed over to the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency.

Allannah said, “Eagled-eyed Customs officials at the Export Shed of the MMIA intercepted the prohibited items while they were being taken out of the country by the Chinese who claimed ownership of the items.

“Upon physical examination of prohibited items, the Chinese were subsequently arrested and are still being held in custody.”

He added that the elephant tusks were in two compartments of 387 unprocessed pieces, while 271 had been processed into combs and hand bangles.

The Customs boss, however, did not give the street value of the prohibited items, saying Customs personnel in the relevant units were already carrying out the monetary assessment to ascertain the value.

Allannah said, “We do not intend to give the names of the Chinese nationals yet. They have been arrested and are in Customs custody. They will be handed over to the relevant security agencies.”

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