The Seme Customs Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) late on Friday revealed that its officers intercepted 105 parrots and other birds coming from Togo and Katsina State worth N24,912,928.00.
In the statement which quoted the Customs Area Controller of the Command, Comptroller Timi Bomodi, the Command said that ten birds out of the 105 intercepted birds were already found dead when Customs officers stopped the buses conveying them along the Seme-Badagry Expressway.
According to the Seme Customs Area Controller, “I am delighted to welcome you all to the Nigeria Customs Service, Seme Area Command, the seat of Seme-Krake Joint Border Post, the foremost frontier for trade in west and central Africa and one of the busiest boundary lines in Africa.
“On the 27th and 28th of September at about 2100hrs and 1200hrs respectively, Officers and Men of the Nigeria Customs Service, Seme Area Command while on patrol along Seme – Badagry Expressway, intercepted a public transport bus en route from Togo to Nigeria and another bus from Katsina to Benin Republic.
“The examination of these buses revealed that 60 Green parrots, 14 Budgerigar Parrots, Six Eastern Rosella Parrots, Two Macaw Parrots, One White Cockatoo Parrots, Four Rose Ringed Parakeets parrots, One Maidain Dock Birds, Three Love Birds and Four other Birds were discovered. About 10 of these birds have died due to the trauma of transporting them in this condition. Two suspects were also arrested in connection with the seizure.
“The said Parrots and other Birds have a duty paid value (DPV) of N24,912,928 only.”
The Customs Area Controller, Compt. Bomodi condemned this criminal act by some members of the society and reiterated that trade in endangered wildlife contravenes the Convention on International Trade On Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) which is an International Agreement between Governments of which Nigeria is a signatory.
The Comptroller maintains that the perpetrators of this illicit trade will continue to meet their Waterloo so long as they refuse to stay off of the Lagos-Abidjan corridor.
In line with the dictates of the Nigeria Customs Service of promoting inter-agency collaboration and synergy, the seized Parrots and other Birds have been handed over to the Officials of the National Park Service as it is their responsibility to rehabilitate and protect them from further harm.
Recall that the Command had earlier intercepted parrots and other wildlife worth N6.9m along the Badagry-Seme highway last week.
Culled from The Nation