The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has commended the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) on efforts made by the service to combat illegal wildlife trade through its arrests of suspected traffickers.
Elisha Bello, Counter Wildlife Trafficking Adviser with the WCS in Calabar disclosed this in a statement made available on Wednesday in Lagos.
Bello said that the NCS have conducted a series of intelligence-led operations supported by WCS in hunting for wildlife traffickers.
“As a result, two important arrests were made last month in the Nigeria-Cameroon trans boundary region.
“One suspect was apprehended in Jimeta, Yola, with four sacks of Ivory weighing 89 kg.
“Two suspects were arrested later the same month in Sangere, Girei LGA of Adamawa State with five sacks of pangolin scales and claws weighing 216 kg.
“These are the first known arrests of wildlife traffickers in the trans boundary region. All three suspects are currently facing prosecution by the Nigeria Customs Service.
“I am overjoyed by this news and would like to congratulate the NCS on the arrests made. We look forward to hearing more about the outcome of the prosecution as well as to further collaboration with the NCS,” Bello said.
The adviser said that project funded by the UK Biodiversity Challenge Fund, “Tackling Illegal Wildlife Trade in the Nigeria-Cameroon Green Corridor,” has been making remarkable progress recently.
Bello said that WCS secured a grant from the UK Biodiversity Challenge Fund to provide training to the NCS and to the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) to raise awareness on the illegal trans-boundary wildlife trade between Cameroon and Nigeria.