February 25, 2024

Customs intercepts N300m worth of elephant tusks in Cross River

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Customs intercepts N300m worth of elephant tusks in Cross River

The Nigeria Customs Service has intercepted 52 units of elephant tusks in Mfum, a border town in the Ikom Local Government Area of Cross River.

The Customs Area Comptroller for Cross River State, Cross River Free Trade Zone, and Akwa Ibom Command, Ahmed Waziri, revealed this at a news conference in Calabar on Monday.

Waziri said the arrest was made by customs operatives in Mfum on Thursday, adding that the tusks, weighing 200kg, were valued at N300 million.

According to him, a Cameroonian, Mohammed Ibrahim, was arrested with the items. He was suspected to be on his way to Lagos for onward transportation of the items to another location when he was apprehended.

Waziri said a preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect specialised in the exportation of tusks across international borders.

The comptroller said the suspect was apprehended in a Honda SUV truck with registration number FST 733 HH and chassis number 2KZYK16428H500704.

“The suspect has two number plates, (Lagos) FST 733 HH and (CMR) LT 214 AY, and a service pistol was discovered inside the vehicle with live ammunition.

“This arrest should be a warning that Nigeria will not be used as a transit route for illicit products. They should also know that Nigeria is a signatory to CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), an international agreement between governments.

“It is important our border communities wake up and live up to their responsibilities because many of such items pass through their domain in most cases without their knowledge,” he said.

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