Acting on local intelligence, the Nigeria Customs Service conducted an operation in Awoyaya on 2 February 2022, arresting four suspects and seizing 839.40 kilograms of pangolin scales and 145 kilograms of elephant ivory.
The operation was conducted in partnership with the Wildlife Justice Commission and targets the illegal trade of wildlife from Africa to Asia. All wildlife products seized were destined for export.
The Wildlife Justice Commission wishes to congratulate Nigerian Customs for their quick response resulting in this outstanding outcome against a well-established transnational organised crime network.
“This operation is another victory for law enforcement in the fight against wildlife trafficking. We commend the Nigerian Customs Service for their persistence in disrupting organised wildlife crime. We will continue to support the efforts of Nigeria Customs Service on this and other investigations.”Stephen Carmody, Director of Programs at the Wildlife Justice Commission
The Nigerian Customs seizure comes just three weeks after the Vietnamese Customs seized 6.2 tonnes of pangolin scales and 456 kilograms of elephant ivory, a shipment from Lagos, in Da Nang.
This successful result is the fourth major seizure of pangolin scales, ivory and other assorted wildlife parts in Nigeria within 13 months. This operation has proven the commitment of the Nigeria Customs Service to continue targeting individuals who are further up the supply chain for illegal wildlife trafficking and should send a message to those who traffic wildlife that no one is beyond the reach of the authorities.