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NCS intercepts truckload of donkey bones worth N3bn

The Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone B, has intercepted a truckload of donkey bones meant for export, dried donkey meat, worth over three billion Naira.

Disclosing this during a press briefing by the Comptroller FOU Zone B, Ahmadu Bello Shuaibu in Kaduna on Tuesday, NCS vowed to ensure the protection of species going extinct.

He said, “Of great importance is the interception of the illegal products of donkeys perpetrated by some unscrupulous elements with no regard for the lives and preservation of endangered species like the donkey which is near extinction.

“It is therefore with a personal sense of sadness to announce that our officers and men on two separate occasions, impounded consignments of donkey bones and donkey meat, respectively, with a combined Duty Paid Value (DPV) of about Three Billion Naira.”

He further explained that on April 25, 2024, operatives of the Unit acting on credible intelligence intercepted One (1) Truck with Registration Number GGE 526 XL along Sokoto/Gusau Road in Zamfara State conveying illicit goods were brought to Kaduna for further examination.

Shuaibu stated that upon careful examination, the truck was discovered to be conveying 750 sacks of donkey bones, saying that the DPV for the donkey bones was estimated at N2, 363, 500, 000. 00.

According to him, one (1) suspect was arrested in connection with the seizure, stressing that on May 5, 2024 at about 0310hrs, the operatives of the Unit intercepted Two (2) Canter Trucks carrying Dried Donkey Meat along Kontagora – Tegina Road in Niger State, and after 100% physical examination the trucks were found to contain 860 sacks of Dried Donkey meat while three (3) suspects were also arrested in connection with the seizure.

He disclosed that the above illegal trading clearly contravenes Section 55 (1) paragraph c and i (1) of the NCS Act 2023 which indicates that ”imports and Exports shall where applicable be subject to prohibitions and restrictions relating to the protection of the health and life of humans, animals, or plants;

Shuaibu added that controlled goods are imported or exported in line with relevant International laws, conventions and agreements (1) relevant International laws, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

He pointed out that the government is concerned that donkeys are part of rare animals that are being driven towards extinction by activities of unscrupulous elements, and Nigeria is a signatory to the international convention for the continued prevention of endangering these species.

The Unit and indeed the Nigeria Customs Service, he said would not and cannot fold its hand and allow this illegal trade to continue to take place, saying that another concern is the seizure of 58,740 sachets of tramadol and 48,000 ampules of Anelgin injection that was arrested by the operatives of the Unit on the 2nd of May 2024 at about 1130hrs along Saminaka/Nimbiya/Kafanchan axis of Kaduna State.

These illicit drugs, he added, were neatly concealed with motor spare parts but the eagle eye was able to catch up with them, stressing that the DPV of the illicit drugs is N167,500.00.

Giving a breakdown of other seized items, he said other items intercepted by the Unit within the period under review included 12 vehicles (means of conveyance), 174 Bags of Foreign Rice (50 kg each), 234 Jerry cans of PMS (25 litres each) and 109 bales of second-hand clothing.

Others he explained are 367 cartons of Spaghetti, 50 cartons of Macaroni, 47 Jerry cans of foreign vegetable oil, 6 sacks of used shoes, 100 sacks of snuff, 30 bags of foreign sugar (25kg each), 2,255 cartons of herbicide chemical, 10 cartons of foreign couscous, 235 Bags of Foreign flour (25kg each) and over 100 cartons of general goods.

According to him, the total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of the seized items is three billion, one hundred and seventy-five million, eighty-four thousand Naira, two hundred and seventeen Naira and seventy-five Kobo (N 3,175,084,217.75) only.