Officials of the Seme Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, have arrested two persons over an attempt to smuggle N6.89 million worth of Africa parrots, hawk and green parrots to Benin Republic.
The birds were found hidden in a luxurious bus that left Kaduna state enroute Benin Republic.
The UN had banned trade in African grey parrot and placed it on a priority list of endangered species to protect it from going into extinction.
While confirming the seizures to newsmen, the Customs Area Controller Seme Area Command, Timi Bomodi, said the recovery was made on September 25, 2023 around 4am by officers and men of the Command who were on patrol along Seme-Badagry Expressway. Bomodi said the officers, acting on credible intelligence, intercepted a luxurious bus en route from Kaduna to Benin Republic
“Upon search of the bus, 51 live green parrots, five live African grey parrots, five dead green parrots, one dead African grey parrot, and one live hawk in iron nets and a paper box were discovered. Six of the birds died due to the trauma of transporting them in this condition. Two suspects were also arrested in connection with the seizure. The said African parrot birds have a duty paid value (DPV) of N6,859,932 only” he said
Bomodi condemned the act, insisting that the trade in endangered wildlife contravened the Convention on International Trade On Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) which, according to him is an international agreement between governments of which Nigeria is a signatory. The comptroller warned the perpetrators of the illegal trade to stay out of the Lagos-Abidjan corridor.
“In line with the dictates of the Nigeria Customs Service of promoting inter-agency collaboration and synergy, and considering the nature of the item, the seized parrot birds will be handed over to the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) Seme Command. Officials of the National Park Service will be informed of this seizure as it is their responsibility to rehabilitate and protect them from further harm,” he said.