Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd), the CG of Customs.
Story by Dili Utomi.
CGC STRIKE FORCE SEIZES PANGOLIN SCALES WORTH BILLIONS OF NAIRA.
The CGC strike force ably led by Deputy Controller Ahmadu Shuaib has continued to decimate the ranks of smugglers in a bid to curb economic and social sabotage. The unit has seized a arge haul of Pangolin scales worth billions of naira in Lagos as the vehicles carrying the scales were intercepted and this is remarkable because it represents one of the biggest seizures of the product made in one day by the Customs Service.
The Strike Force working on credible information and intelligence were said to have intercepted the more than 110 sacks of the prohibited products neatly parked in some vehicles along the Ijora-Apapa road in readiness for export.
Zone “A” Coordinator of the CGC strike force, DC Shuiab, AB.
Three suspects were also apprehended and they are presently in detention at the Customs formation.
The product which is in high demand abroad due to its medicinal values has become a big time trade undertaken by smugglers in collusion with other economic saboteurs.
The value of the Pangolin scales has not been completely determined as sorting is still ongoing at the Customs Command, but a rough estimate put the value into billions of naira.
Pangolin has become an endangered animal as it is hunted for its highly priced meat and even higher priced scales which are used in making pharmaceutical and household products.
Nigerians have been urged to stop the poaching of the animal because it could go extinct soon. Roasted Pangolin scales are believed to cure cancer, relieve palsy and even stimulate breast milk.
It is considered a delicacy in China, Vietnam and other parts of South East Asia. The scales are priced 3000 dollars per Kilogram, while the meat is 300 dollars per kilogram. Live Pangolin attracts 1000 dollars based on black market price.
About 10,000 Pangolins are poached annually.
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