Customs Arrests Shipper, Supplier Of Illegal Wildlife To Vietnam

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The Nigeria Customs Service Special Wildlife Office, over the weekend, announced the arrest of the Shipper and supplier responsible for the illegal exportation of a 40ft container of illegal Wildlife to Vietnam.

It was gathered that the the illegal wildlife products was intercepted and reported in Vietnam in April 2024 while the arrest of the suspects was made by the Wildlife Justice Commission (WJC) and the enforcement officers of the Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone C, Owerri, Imo state.

According to a statement made available to newsmen, the arrest was made during a joint operation on the 17th of May, 2024.

Speaking on the seizure, the Customs Area Controller, FOU, Zone C, Compt. Mike Ugbagu, said the seizure was to reaffirm the Service’s commitment to support all global initiatives to fight wildlife crime in the country.

He said, “apprehending these persons is to send a clear signal to other perpetrators of these illegal acts which are in contravention of the Customs export guidelines of the Nigeria Customs Service Act, and the Endangered Species Act of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, that wildlife trafficking, illegal wildlife trade and any form of wildlife crime will not be condoned. This is also to reaffirm the Service’s commitment to support all global initiatives to fight wildlife crime in all its forms,” Compt. Ugbagu stated.

Compt Ugbagu stated further that Nigeria Customs and WJC partnership is strengthened and more determined than ever to dismantle the entire supply chain of illegal Wildlife criminal networks operating from Africa to Asia.

Also speaking, the officer in charge of the NCS Special Wildlife office, Asst. Compt. Abimbola Isifiade, said the service will ensure that all those who benefit from the crime are arrested.

“The efficient and multi-focused response by NCS to the seizure in Vietnam demonstrates that it is not business as usual concerning the Nigeria-Vietnam trafficking corridor. Also, the NCS’s success in apprehending both the Shipper and supplier was built on the 3 years of successful arrests and prosecutions of key members of local and international ivory trafficking networks. NCS will continue to follow the money to find all those who benefit from this crime,” Isifiade stated.

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