By Innocent Orok
Barely a week to his taking over as the new Customs Area Controller of Seme- Krake border command, Comptroller Timi Bomodi has discover and intercepted 62 African parrots bird and one Hawk, this birds are classified as endangered species and are under the export prohibition list.
Making this known to newsman at his maiden press briefing at Seme border on Tuesday, Comptroller Bomodi stated that that the 63 African birds were being smuggled out of the country illegal.
He expressed disapproval of this criminal act by certain members of society, stressing that the trade in endangered wildlife is contrary to the Convention on International Trade On Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), an International Agreement which Nigeria is a signatory to.
He revealed that the Duty Paid Value of the seized African birds (DPV) was put at N6,859,930 and added that the birds are a rare species that could easily be sold for over five times their value, if smuggled out of Nigeria.
According to him, “On the 25th of September at about 0400hrs, Officers and Men of the Nigeria Customs Service, Seme Area Command while on patrol along Seme-Badagry Expressway, acting on credible intelligence intercepted a luxurious bus enroute 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 these birds have died due to the trauma of transporting them in this condition,” Comptroller Bomodi narrated.
He further disclosed that two suspects were arrested in connection with the seized items.
The Seme Customs boss advised those involved in this illegal trade to steer clear of the Lagos-Abidjan corridor or they will continue to incur heavy losses if they insist.
The seized African birds were handed over to Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) Seme command.
Comptroller Bomodi further said that officials of the National Park Service will be informed of the seizure as it is their responsibility to rehabilitate and protect the birds from further harm.
Speaking after receiving the seized African birds, the Controller of NAQS Seme Command, Sanusi Magashi commended the Seme Customs command for the seizure, even as he extolled the management of NCS for its commitment to inter-agency collaboration.