After a raid on a house in Lagos, the Nigeria Customs Service busted a network of pangolin scales exporters, a prohibited animal product.
The Wildlife Justice Commission provided intelligence that aided the raid on July 28.
According to a statement released today by Customs and the Wildlife Justice Commission, all of the wildlife products were embarked for export.
Additional suspects, some of whom are believed to have already fled Nigeria, are being sought in connection with this seizure.
In the last three years, this is the ninth largest pangolin scale seizure (2019-2021),
The arrested suspects, according to the statement, are members of a well-known transnational criminal network operating in West Africa.
Over the last three years, they’ve been linked to roughly half of all major pangolin scale seizures.
This network has been severely disrupted as a result of these arrests, according to the statement.
“The Wildlife Justice Commission wishes to congratulate Nigeria Customs on their prompt response, which resulted in this outstanding result against a well-established transnational organised crime network,” said Steve Carmody, Director of Programs for the Wildlife Justice Commission.
“The truly horrific reality of this seizure is that, even at seven tonnes, there were still eight other larger seizures in the last three years, and at least half of them were caused by this network. We anticipate the arrest of the remaining suspects and the use of proceeds of crime provisions to seize the network’s ill-gotten gains.”
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