By Anthony Nwachukwu
Smugglers of poisonous donkey hides and skin, charcoal and others items warehoused preparatory for export have run out of luck as they were intercepted in Lagos by operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
The seizures, with a cumulative duty paid value (DPV) of N643.73 million, were said to be stored in a warehouse in Apapa, and about being moved into the port for export when they were intercepted by the Controller-General of Customs (CGC) Strike Force Zone ‘A’.
It was barely a month, August 4, 2021 precisely, when the NCS intercepted an equally export-prohibited Pangolin scales and elephant tusks worth N22.3 billion, in which five Guineans and a Nigerian were involved and are now facing trials.
Goods seized during the operation included 2×40ft containers (12,500 pieces) of donkey hides and skin and 1,372×25 bags of foreign parboiled rice, Controller of CGC Strike Force, Ahmadu Shuaibu, stated.
Others were 5×20ft containers of unprocessed logs of wood, 6×40ft and 1×20ft containers (3,891 sacks) of charcoal, 229 sacks of shoes, 167 pieces of used tyres and one Mazda bus, with a cumulative DPV of N643.73 million.
Shuaibu, who showcased the items at the Nigeria Customs Export Terminal in Ikorodu, said they were discovered stacked in a warehouse close to the Apapa Port, adding that the handlers took off when they sighted customs operatives.
Stating that efforts were on to arrest and prosecute all suspects behind the crime, Shuaibu explained that the export prohibition guideline aims to protect endangered species, the local economy, and promote the National Forest Policy, which targets sustainable management of the nation’s vast forest resources.
Meanwhile, he disclosed that “for the period the coordinator took over leadership of the team, N3,001,226,794 was collected as revenue through issuance of Demand Notices. This feat was achieved through meticulous documentary checks of the ICT Component.”
He further warned smugglers to drop the hope of taking advantage of the last quarter of the year to flood the markets with smuggled goods, stating that more operatives have been deployed to the maritime and land borders.