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Customs Intercept Donkey Bones, Dried Meat Worth Billions of Naira  

“Nigeria Customs Service will not and cannot fold its hand and allow this illegal trade to continue to take place.”

The  Federal Operations Unit, Zone B, of the Nigerian Customs Service  (NCS) has arrested a consignments of donkey bones and dried donkey meat worth billions of naira. 

The Comptroller of the unit, Ahmadu Shuaibu disclosed this on Tuesday at a press conference at the Zone B headquarters of the Federal Operations Unit in Kaduna. 

He said other illegal products intercepted by operatives of the units, include, illicit drugs, foreign rice, second hand clothing, foreign vegetable oil, foreign sugar and herbicide chemical among others. 

Four suspects were arrested in connection with the intercepted items. 

Shuaibu said “Of great importance is 

the interception of the illegal products of donkey  perpetrated by some unscrupulous elements with no regard for the lives and preservation of endangered species like the donkey which is near extinction.”

He said on two separate occasions personnel of the NCS “impounded consignments of donkey bones and dried donkey meat, respectively, with a combined Duty Paid Value (DPV) of about N3 billion 

The Federal Operations Unit Comptroller said,  “On the 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 which were brought to Kaduna for further examination.  

“Upon careful examination the truck was discovered to be conveying 750 sacks of donkey bones.

“The DPV for the donkey bones was estimated at Two Billion, Three Hundred and Sixty Three Million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N2, 363,500,000.00)”

“Again on May 5, 2024 at about 0310hrs, the operatives of the unit intercepted Two  Canter Trucks carrying Dried Donkey Meat along Kontagora – Tegina Road in Niger State. 

“After 100 per cent physical examination, the trucks were found to contain 860 sacks of Dried Donkey meat. 

According to him, the illegal trading clearly contravenes Section 55 (1) paragraph c and i (1) of the NCS Act 2023. 

Shuaibu said, government is concerned that donkeys are part of rare animals that are being driven towards extinction by activities of unscrupulous elements.

He added that Nigeria is signatory to the international convention for the continued prevention of endangering these species. “Therefore, the Unit and indeed the Nigeria Customs Service will not and cannot fold its hand and allow this illegal trade to continue to take place”, he said.  

Also impounded by the operatives of the NCS  are  58,740 sachets of tramadol and 48,000 ampules of Anelgin injection worth N167.5 million, suspected to be for bandits in Kaduna state. 

Shuaibu said the drugs were intercepted on May 2, along Saminaka/Nimbiya/Kafanchan axis of Kaduna state.

“These illicit drugs were neatly concealed with motor spare parts but our eagle eye was able to catch up with them”, he said. 

According to him, other items intercepted include, 12 vehicles (means of conveyance), 174 Bags of Foreign Rice (50 kg each), 234 Jerry cans of PMS (25 litres each), 109 bales of second hand clothing, 367 cartons of Spaghetti, 50 cartons of Macaroni , 47 Jerry cans of foreign vegetable oil and 100 sacks of snuff among others.

He said the total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of the seized items is over  N3.1 billion

Shuaibu said, “officers and men of the unit are focused, committed and prepared to continue to carry out their assignments with utmost sense of courtesy and unwavering professionalism.”

He said further that the success recorded was “a demonstration of our collective determination to continue to carry out our duty with undivided attention, and without fear or favour.” 

“Those who wish to try our resolve should have a rethink as we shall be unsparing in implementing the laws and policy directives of the federal government as directed by the Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi and his management team”, he warned.

He said, ” Anti-smuggling initiative is fast going beyond old traditional physical measures, the NCS has sharpened its skill in intelligence gathering through improved information technology kits.  

“The era of exclusively mounting checkpoint is long gone, as our Enforcement Unit are up to date in the deployment of ICT assisted intelligence gathering and strategies to achieve our mandate”. 

By John Shiklam in Kaduna 

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