Nigeria Customs intercept man smuggling harmful snakes, dangerous reptiles

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The Nigeria Customs Service on Wednesday intercepted three consignments containing 140 species of snakes and 660 other animals imported into Nigeria from Cameroon.
The containers were brought in aboard a Cameroonian vessel tagged ‘MV Flesh’ through the Calabar waterway to the National Inland Waterways Authority jetty in Calabar, Cross River State.
The other animals which were identified as geckos, millipedes, hairy frogs and spiders, were said to be worth N6.9m.
Customs Area Comptroller in charge of Calabar Free Trade Zone, Cross River and Akwa Ibom Command, Mrs. Nanbyen Burromvyat, said the consignments were intercepted by vigilant officers on July 24 on arrival at the NIWA jetty.
She said that the consignments, which were Lagos-bound, are prohibited items under the Schedule 3 of the Revised Import Prohibition List (Trade) in the Common External Tariff.
The officer in charge of the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Services in Cross River State, Mr. Sunday Ukut, who received the items, said the animals would be properly scrutinised after which they might be destroyed.
He said, “I appreciate the joint effort of seizing these live animals and now that we are in receipt of it, we will take it the office and conduct further investigations. These animals came in without the necessary import papers and these are highly prohibited animals. So, we are going to carry out our own screening on them and possibly destroy them in the long run. They came in from Cameroon.”
The arrested agent who brought in the consignment from Cameroon, Mr. Julius Novigana, said they were given to him by a friend to deliver to someone in Lagos.
Captain of the vessel that brought the consignment, Victor Agbor, also a Cameroonian, claimed he did not spot the containers when he was about leaving his country.

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