Customs Seizes 140 Species of Imported Snakes, Hairy Frogs, Millipedes
The Nigeria Customs Service on Wednesday revealed that it confiscated 140 species of snakes and 660 other exotic animals including hairy frogs, spiders, geckos, and millipedes imported from Cameroon at a Federal Inland Waterways jetty in Calabar, Cross River State.
The animals, bound for Lagos were concealed in three containers aboard a Cameroonian vessel, MV Flesh.
The Punch reports that the animals were said to be worth N6.9 million.
The Customs Area Comptroller in charge of Calabar Free Trade Zone Mrs Nanbyen Burromvyat, said the consignments were intercepted on July 24, 2017.
She said the consignments were prohibited items under the Schedule 3 of the Revised Import Prohibition List (Trade) in the Common External Tariff.
Burromvyat said she has handed over two suspects arrested for importing the animals to the authorities of the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Services for further investigation.
“There is no permit to bring live animals into the country. We have seized and we are handing the animals over to the Nigerian Quarantine Services for further action.
“I do not know what they want to do with them, but I think that the animals are dangerous because they include snakes, spiders, geckos and other creatures. We have enough snakes around Nigeria already.”
The officer in charge of the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Services in Cross River State, Sunday Ukut, said the animals might be destroyed.
“We will take them to the office and conduct further investigations. These animals came in without the necessary import papers and these are highly prohibited animals. So, we are going to carry out our own screening on them and possibly destroy them. They came in from Cameroon.”
One of the suspects, Julius Novigana, a Cameroonian said he received the animals from a friend who asked him to deliver it to someone in Lagos.
“A friend gave them to me in Cameroon to deliver to someone in Lagos. I only have the man’s number in Lagos. I have called him and he said he would send someone to pick them from me in Calabar,” he said.
The Captain of the vessel that brought the consignment, Victor Agbor, also a Cameroonian, said he did not spot the containers when he was about leaving his country.
“I did not see these containers on the vessel when I left Cameroon. The name of my vessel is MV Flesh and we bring in passengers and general cargo from Cameroon to Nigeria.
“I never saw these containers on board before leaving.
“I was informed in Nigeria that there were some containers without manifestoes in the vessel. I do not have any idea about them,” he said.
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