Arrest of four wildlife traffickers in joint operation with Nigeria Customs Service

Demonstrating the ongoing commitment of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to combat wildlife crime, three suspected wildlife traffickers were apprehended in Nigeria on 4 February 2024, with a fourth arrest made on 6 February 2024. This successful operation was a joint intelligence-led investigation by the NCS and the Wildlife Justice Commission, targeting illicit wildlife supplier networks. During the operation, the NCS seized five pieces of ivory tusks, totalling 25 kg in weight and valued at approximately USD 16,000.

“The Wildlife Justice Commission would like to congratulate the Nigerian authorities for their persistent dedication to tackling transnational wildlife crime. The positive results that we continue to witness on the ground assist the NCS and the Wildlife Justice Commission in constructing a comprehensive intelligence picture of the supply networks operating between Nigeria and its neighbouring countries, which will enable us to target the criminal networks profiting from the trafficking of our wildlife beyond Nigeria.”

Olivia Swaak-Goldman, Executive Director of the Wildlife Justice Commission

Since July 2021, the ongoing partnership between the NCS and the Wildlife Justice Commission has resulted in the arrest of 27 suspects and the seizure of almost 10 tonnes of pangolin scales and over 1 tonne of ivory. This successful collaboration has enabled the disruption of criminal networks trafficking ivory and pangolin scales in Nigeria, with trafficking reaching its lowest level in five years. It has also led to the displacement of ivory and pangolin scales trafficking from Nigeria to other countries.

The Wildlife Justice Commission is committed to continue supporting the NCS to further disrupt the trafficking of wildlife from Nigeria.