As part of anti-smuggling activities around the Seme-Krake border route, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) today intercepted 63 African birds comprising endangered wildlife species of 62 African parrots and 1 hawk being smuggled out of the country.
The Area Controller of Seme Customs Command, Comptroller Timi Bomodi revealed this while addressing journalists at his maiden press conference at Seme, earlier today.
Comptroller Bomodi condemned this criminal act by some members of the society, stressing that trade in endangered wildlife contravenes the Convention on International Trade On Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), an International Agreement which Nigeria is a signatory to.
While stating that the African Parrot birds have a duty paid value (DPV) of N6,859,932, the Customs boss opined that the birds are rare species and would be easily sold for over five times the value when smuggled out of Nigeria.
“On the 25th of September at about 0400hrs, Officers and Men of the Nigeria Customs Service, Seme Area Command while on patrol along Seme-Badagry Expressway, acting on credible intelligence intercepted a luxurious bus enroute from Kaduna to Benin Republic.”
“Upon search of the bus, Fifty-One (51) live Green parrots, Five (5) live African Grey Parrots, Five (5) dead Green Parrots, One (1) dead African Grey Parrot, and One (1) live Hawk in iron nets and a Paper Box were discovered. Six (6) of these birds have died due to the trauma of transporting them in this condition,” Comptroller Bomodi narrated.
He, however, disclosed that 2 suspects were also arrested in connection with the seizure.
The Seme Area Controller warned perpetrators of this illegal trade to stay out of the Lagos – Abidjan corridor or they will continue to incur heavy losses if they insist.
In line with the NCS dictates of promoting inter-agency collaboration and synergy, the Customs boss handed over the seized birds to the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) Seme Command.
Comptroller Bomodi also added that officials of the National Park Service will be informed of the seizure as it is their responsibility to rehabilitate and protect the birds from further harm.
While receiving the birds, the Controller of NAQS Seme Command, Sanusi Magashi commended the Seme Customs officials for the seizure, even as he extolled the management of NCS for its commitment to inter-agency collaboration.