Nigeria Customs Service has disclosed that it intercepted 52 units of Elephant’s Tusks weighing about 200 kilogrammes from a Cameroonian national who specialises in exportation of products across international borders.
The Customs Area Controller, Cross River/CFTZ/Akwa Ibom Command, Comptroller Ahmed Waziri, made this disclosure while speaking with newsmen on Monday, in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.
He said it was unfortunate that people were still getting involved in this kind of illicit business of moving body parts of endangered species, which has adverse ecological effects.
The suspect, he identified as Mr Mohammed Ibrahim was arrested by operatives of the Service at Mfum, a border town in Ikom Local Government Area of Cross River state on February 8.
It was said that the suspect was on his way to Lagos for onward transportation of the items to another location when he was arrested.
Waziri said, “On February 8th, 2024, a Honda SUV Truck with Registration number, FST 733 HH. Chassis No 2KZYK16428H500704 Driven by One Mohammed Ibrahim was intercepted, upon investigation they discovered 52 units of Elephant tusk weighing about 200 kilograms.
“Further examination conducted revealed that the suspect had two number plates of both Nigeria (Lagos) and Cameroon (CMR LT 214 AY) a service pistol was discovered inside the vehicle, including 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 expectations, many of such items pass through their domain in most cases without their knowledge, but they have a role to play as security is everybody’s business, in like manner to live other dangerous items, so we must be vigilant.
“The suspect carried those items from Cameroon using Nigeria as a transit route probably to his final destination. The suspect is with us and the goods are at the government warehouse.
“I want to commend my eagle eye officers at Mfum for being able to intercept those items worth over 300 million naira and also apprehending the suspect.
“Our legal unit is already on the matter, and he will be charged to court immediately after we complete our investigations.
The Customs Controller urged the sister agencies to take their duties more professionally in a bid to nip crime in the bud.