By Sandra Chukwunyere
Customs Men of the Nigeria Customs Service attached to the Federal Operations Unit Zone A Ikeja Lagos have confiscated two containers of donkey hides valued at N15 billion.
Briefing newsmen after inspection of the seized items, Controller of the unit, Comptroller Aliyu Mohammed, said the animal skin were discovered at a location where they were being dried for export .
Nigeria is signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fuana and Flora (CITES), and as such is obliged to protect organism that are on the verge of extinction.
Controller Mohammed who failed to disclose the actual area the seizure was made in order not to jeopardise ongoing investigations for the arrest suspects connected with it, said the item was under export prohibition aimed at preventing the animals from going into extinction.
“We have seized the skin in two containers. As you can see, this is massive. One can only imagine how many donkeys have been killed to have this large number of donkey skin in two containers.
”We didn’t see the meat and it is possible they are being sold out to people as beef. As customs Officers, we are going beyond duty collection to protect lives of people.
”This seizure is part of our effort to prevent the mass killing of donkeys and discourage people from seeing it as a business opportunity.
According to him, also seized by his officers include vehicles and drugs, which all together are worth N16,082,092,706.
He stated that the drugs were intercepted on the road in a border area in Ogun State.
Mohammed reiterated out that codeine drugs were prohibited from being sold across the counter due to incessant abuses and smuggling it into the country would endanger lives of citizens.
“We also made seizures of codeine that is prohibited but was concealed with pain relief drugs without NAFDAC approved number valued at N101.6m.
”Within one hour, our officers vehicles last week. Now we have a total of 29 exotic cars including a 2019 Land Cruiser. Total duty paid value for the seized vehicles is N712,172,706.
He added that the unit would intensify it’s onslaught against smuggling to suppress it for the protection of the economy and prevention of danger to lives.