Corona Virus: Nigeria Customs Intercepts Pangolin Skin Worth N10.6b naira.
The Federal Operating Unit (FOU) Zone 'A' of the Nigeria Customs Service intercepted bags of pangolin skin valued at N10.26b naira along the Isheri estate of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.
Recent research has shown that the pangolin animal is the 'missing link' between the bat and human in the strain of the Coronavirus.
This means the virus does not just ‘jump' from bat to human but transfers through the pangolin.
The Comptroller-General of Customs Col. Hammid Ali (rtd) pointed that the seized collection did not only originate from Nigeria but from the entire West Africa sub-region of the continent.
According to him:
“This is one of the seizures the entire system of Customs will be happy with.
"The World Customs Organization (WCO) I'm sure will send us a recommendation.
“Our men because of their increased diligence were able to accost it (pangolin skin).”
“We brought you here to show you the extent to which our people can go in terms of looking for money.
“They can do anything. Anything can be done to look for money.”
The CG therefore called on Nigerians to desist in illegitimate trade saying,
“There are other areas you can trade. There are areas you can do business.
“But why must we resolve to doing the wrong thing? (Only God knows)” he exhaled.
He decried the porous borders insisting that, “The fact that we have border drill our people are still insisting on smuggling items like vegetable oil, poultry produce, rice as you have seen.
“It is always finding it’s way as a result of the tenacity of our people to commit crime.
“When people say Customs are being too hard. We are running all over the streets and intercepting; this is the end result (he points at the seizures).
“If we don’t and we concentrate on the border they (smugglers) have far (reaching) ways of bringing in these things,” he stated.
The outbreak of the Coronavirus in China has seen a drastic fall in Asian shares in the stock exchange market.
(More details later).
Pix1: CG of Customs Col. Hammid Ali examining the pangolin skin.
Pix2: The seized kegs of vegetable oil.
Pix3: A car load of seized 50kg bags of rice.