The Nigeria Customs Service at Murtala Muhammed Airport Command has discovered items believed to be dried shark fins and dried donkey genitals worth N1.22 billion at the Lagos airport. Comptroller Muhammed Yusuf, the Area Controller of the command, announced this during a press conference in Lagos.
He explained that these items were seized as a result of coordinated efforts in anti-smuggling operations involving various stakeholders. Yusuf provided an overview of the command’s performance between January and July, revealing that one individual was apprehended for each of the confiscated items, and investigations are ongoing.
He mentioned that the suspect linked to the shark fins was a Nigerian, intending to send the goods to China, while the person carrying the donkey genitals was Chinese, destined for Hong Kong. The suspected dried shark fins, totaling six packages, had a Free on Board (FOB) value of N221.9 million, and the 25 packages of donkey genitals had an FOB value of N1.01 billion, resulting in a combined total of N1.23 billion.
“These items were seized mainly because of various forms of infractions on export guidelines and failure to comply with CITES Law on endangered species as enshrined in the Nigeria Customs Service Act.
“From the number of fins we have here, the implication is that we have over a thousand sharks that have been endangered. We cannot go on with this illegal trade because at the end of the day, it will be problem for us.
“Animals in the sea have a role they play, endangering them will affect the ecosystem and for us officers at the NCS, we will always make sure that these items under export prohibition list cannot go out,” he said.
The head of customs highlighted that this marked the initial occurrence where the command had seized such items, apprehending them at the departure point after completing all necessary paperwork.
He clarified that the shark fin had been declared as such, while the donkey genitals had been falsely labeled as animal cow genitals.
Yusuf further mentioned that these items would be transferred to a customs unit for in-depth investigation, which could potentially unveil additional details.
Regarding the performance report between January and July, Yusuf stated that the command had achieved a revenue of N47.25 billion, constituting 83.24 percent of the set target.
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