Customs seizes N826m pangolin scales, tomato paste, others in Port Harcourt
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Area 1 Command, Port Harcourt, said it had intercepted a 10 by 20ft and two by 20ft containers respectively loaded with canned mackereel.
The Customs Area Comptroller of the Command, Mohammed Boyi, also disclosed a seizure of 32 packages of pangolin scales, which weighed 1,500kg with an estimated black market value of N826,200,000.
Boyi said the pangolin was intercepted at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, on its way to the Republic of China while the tomato paste and mackerel fish with duty paid value of N96, 638,953.00 was seized at the Port Harcourt port.
He noted that the fish and tomato paste consignments were falsely declared as agricultural sprayers, but after careful and physical examinations, the containers were found to contain imported tomato paste in tins, while others were carrying canned mackerel fish.
Boyi said the feat was achieved through the sustained policy of conducting 100 per cent physical examination by the officers of the command on all consignments.
According to the Area Comptroller, “the declarations made by the agents contravened Sections 161 (2, 3, and 4) of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA), LFN 2004 and that the consignments have been seized and forfeited to the Federal Government.
The Comptroller, who described the seizure as timely, called on all stakeholders to join in the fight to ultimately eradicate the international trade on wildlife, which is the primary concern of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
Boyi maintained that if the country is to rise above economic sabotage, especially in the areas of food security and sufficiency, all hands must be on deck to ensure that the nation’s borders, which include the seaports, are constantly on alert to ensure that products that are detrimental to the growth and well-being of the nation’s economy and citizens are denied entry into the country.
Besides, he stated that the command generated over N39 billion from January to October 2019, which according to him, indicated a surplus of N8.6 billion, which is above the revenue generated in the same period of 2018.
He said the command, which determined to achieve its revenue target of N47.9 billion, might even exceed its expected revenue target.