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Customs seizes donkey meat worth N2bn, arrests suspects in Zamfara

The  federal operations unit (FOU) zone B of the Nigerian Customs Service  (NCS) says it has seized a consignment of donkey bones and meat worth about N2 billion.

Ahmadu Shuaibu, the comptroller of the unit, spoke at the unit’s headquarters in Kaduna on Tuesday during a press briefing.

Shuaibu said four suspects were arrested in connection with the intercepted items.

Other items confiscated by the unit include illicit drugs, foreign rice, second-hand clothing, foreign vegetable oil, foreign sugar, and herbicide chemicals, among others.

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“Of great importance is the interception of the illegal products of donkeys perpetrated by some unscrupulous elements with no regard for the lives and preservation of endangered species like the donkey, which is near extinction,” Shuaibu said.

The comptroller added that the arrest was made two times following an intelligence tip-off.

“On April 25, 2024, operatives of the unit, acting on credible intelligence, intercepted one truck with registration number GGE 526 XL along Sokoto/Gusau road in Zamfara state, conveying illicit goods that were brought to Kaduna for further examination,” he added.

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“The DPV for the donkey bones was estimated at two billion, three hundred and sixty three million, five hundred thousand naira (N2, 363,500,000.00).

“Again on May 5, 2024, at about 03:10 hrs, the operatives of the unit intercepted two canter trucks carrying dried donkey meat along Kontagora-TTegina road in Niger state.

“After 100 per cent physical examination, the trucks were found to contain 860 sacks of dried donkey meat.”

Shuaibu said the illegal trading contravenes section 55 of the NCS Act 2023, noting that the federal government is concerned about the animals being endangered in the process.

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“Therefore, the unit and indeed the Nigeria Customs Service will not and cannot fold its hands and allow this illegal trade to continue to take place,” he added. 

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