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Customs intercepts dried shark fins, donkey genitals ‘worth N1.23bn’ at Lagos airport

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Murtala Muhammed airport command, has intercepted dried shark fins and donkey genitals worth N1.23 billion in Lagos.

At a news conference on Thursday, Muhammed Yusuf, the command’s area comptroller, said the operation was successful through coordinated anti-smuggling activities in synergy with critical stakeholders.

Yusuf said the shark fins were seized from a Nigerian heading to China, while the donkey genitals were retrieved from a Chinese heading to Hong Kong.

He said six packages of dried shark fins has a free on board (FOB) value of N221.9 million, while the 25 packages of donkey genitals has an FOB value of N1.01 billion, both totalling N1.23 billion.

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Yusuf said animals have a role to play in maintaining a healthy ecosystem, adding that endangering them would affect the environment. 

“These items were seized mainly because of various forms of infractions on export guidelines and failure to comply with CITES Law on endangered species as enshrined in the Nigeria Customs Service Act,” he said.

“From the number of fins we have here, the implication is that we have over a thousand sharks that have been endangered.

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“We cannot go on with this illegal trade because at the end of the day, it will be problem for us.

“We have over 1000 fishes whose fins have been harvested here and if this is allowed to go on, high numbers of donkeys will be endangered.

“Animals in the sea have a role they play, endangering them will affect the ecosystem and for us officers at the NCS, we will always make sure that these items under export prohibition are not allowed to go.”

Yusuf said the command generated N47.25 billion, representing 83.24 percent of target met between January and July.

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“When compared to the same period in 2022 of N40.335 billion, a progressive difference of N6.914 billion, representing 17.14 percent increase,” he added.

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