Today, the BBC has published a special report highlighting the work of the Wildlife Justice Commission in Nigeria and the successes it has achieved in disrupting the trafficking of wildlife from the country, in partnership with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
The BBC report tells the story of how top-of-the-pyramid traffickers from Asia were outwitted by investigators from the Wildlife Justice Commission in Nigeria.
The report features an interview with the Wildlife Justice Commission’s Director of Programs Steve Carmody and Van, one of our female undercovers. It sheds light on the investigation into two major organised crime groups involved in the trafficking of ivory and pangolin scales from Nigeria and rhino horn and lion bones from Mozambique and South Africa to Vietnam. The investigation in Nigeria led to the arrest of 21 suspects and seizure of over 9 tonnes of pangolin scales and over 1 tonne of ivory in multiple operations since July 2021.
The BBC report also focuses on the trial and conviction this July of three Vietnamese nationals, who are high-ranking members of a major organised crime group and are accused of trafficking 7.1 tonnes of pangolin scales and 850 kgs of ivory, in relation to a seizure in July 2021.
“I want to thank the BBC for showcasing a success story of fighting wildlife trafficking. The numbers speak for themselves: there has not been any reported seizure of pangolin scales in Asia originating from Africa in over 582 days. This is a clear example of the importance of disrupting organised crime networks. We are committed to continue supporting the NCS to maintain the current downward trafficking trend and to further disrupt the trafficking of wildlife from Nigeria to Asia.”, said Olivia Swaak-Goldman, Executive Director of the Wildlife Justice Commission.