Customs officials in Cross River have seized elephant tusks valued at N300 million.


The Nigeria Customs Service has seized 52 units of elephant tusks in Mfum, a border town located in the Ikom Local Government Area of Cross River state. Ahmed Waziri, the Area Comptroller of Cross River/CFTZ/Akwa Ibom Command of the NIS, disclosed this during a news conference held in Calabar on Monday, February 12.

Waziri revealed that the interception occurred on Thursday, February 8, and the tusks, weighing 200kg, were estimated to be worth N300 million. A Cameroonian national, Mohammed Ibrahim, was apprehended with the items while allegedly en route to Lagos for further transportation to another destination.

The suspect was accused of specializing in the illegal exportation of tusks across international borders. He was arrested in possession of a Honda SUV truck bearing the number plate FST 733 HH, which also contained a service pistol with live ammunition.

Waziri emphasized that Nigeria will not tolerate being used as a transit route for illicit products, particularly as the country is a signatory to CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). He called on border communities to be vigilant and play their part in combating illegal activities, noting that many such items pass through their areas unnoticed.

The suspect and the seized goods are currently in custody, awaiting further legal action. Waziri commended the vigilant efforts of his officers at Mfum for intercepting the items and apprehending the suspect. He assured that investigations are ongoing and the suspect will be prosecuted accordingly.

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