No fewer than 107 suspected smugglers were arrested in Lagos and Ogun states in the past six months, officials of the Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A, Ikeja, have said.
Among those arrested within the period are two Chinese nationals who allegedly attempted to export pangolin shells worth over N2 billion. The suspects allegedly smuggled 596 different items in the month under review.
The Comptroller, FOU Zone A, Ikeja, Mohammed Uba, revealed that the items seized from the suspects included 34,652 tones of foreign parboiled rice (equivalent to 58 trailers), 167 units of exotic vehicles, 8,987 cartons of frozen poultry products, 4,586 jerry cans of vegetable oil, 3,463 cartons of different pharmaceutical/medicaments, 370 parcels/98 sacks of Indian hemp weighing 1,350kg and various general merchandise.
Uba noted that remarkable among the seizures within the period was the interception of 460 sacks of pangolin scales weighing 12, 264 kg and 218 elephant tusks, making it the highest seizure of such endangered species in the history of the Federal Operations Unit Zone A.