The Zone D of the Federal Operations Unit, Nigeria Customs Service, Bauchi State, has seized contraband Pangolin scales with a Duty Paid Value of N432 million.
Mr. Umar Abdullahi, Public Relations Officer of the Zone, disclosed this at a news conference on Monday in Bauchi.
He said the Pangolin scales weighed about 216 kilogrammes, adding that the seized goods contravened section 63 of the Customs and Excise Management Act CAP 45 Laws of Nigeria.
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“The Comptroller, FOU Zone ‘D’ Bauchi, Mr Joseph Adelaja, acting on credible intelligence, deployed operatives who raided a makeshift shop at a motor park along Sangere-Yola axis in Adamawa State on May 11, and evacuated four sacks and one small sack of Pangolin scales.
“The evacuated sacks of Pangolin scales were weighed to be a total of 216 kg with a total Duty Paid Value of N432,000,000,” he said.
Abdullahi said the general public should understand that illegal wildlife trade was contrary to the provisions of the convention on international trade in endangered species of wild fauna, especially items which pangolins fall under.
The spokesman said the unprecedented seizure was achieved as a result of sharing of information, intelligence gathering and doggedness of the personnel in making the zone unbearable for smugglers.
“Let me use this medium to plead with well-meaning Nigerians to assist in providing genuine information that can aid in eradicating the menace of smuggling in the zone and the country at large.
“I want them to know that eradicating smuggling in this country will boost the economy, which in the long run will enable the Federal Government to provide social amenities for the citizenry,” Abdullahi explained.
He also warned smugglers to leave their nefarious activities and get a better trade to earn a living.
“The officers and men of the FOU Zone D of the Nigerian Customs Service, under the leadership of Adelaja, will not rest on their oars,” Abdullahi stressed.