Nigeria Customs Service-Special Wildlife Office and the gallant officers of Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone C in a joint enforcement Operation with the Wildlife Justice Commission (WJC) on the 16th of May 2024, in the Eastern part of Nigeria, identified and apprehended the shipper of the 40ft container of illegal Wildlife products that was intercepted and reported by Vietnam authorities in April 2024. During the same joint operation, on the 17th of May, barely 6weeks after the news was reported in Vietnam, the team equally arrested a suspected supplier of ivory (in addition to the shipper)

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/ 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 Nigeria Customs Service (NCS)’s commitment to support all global initiatives to fight Wildlife crime in all its forms, says, the Comptroller in charge of FOU Zone C: Comptroller Mike Ugbagu.

Furthermore, the NCS 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.

According to the officer in charge of the NCS Special Wildlife office: Asst Comptroller Abimbola Isafiade, “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, and NCS’s success in apprehending both the shipper and supplier builds on the 3 years of successful arrests and prosecutions of key members of local and international IVORY trafficking networks” In addition, she said, NCS will continue to follow the money to find all those who benefit from this crime.

The culprits will soon be charge to court as soon as investigation is concluded.

Mike Ojo

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