The Sokoto State Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted two elephant tusks weighing 65kg and valued at more than N14 million.
The public relations officer of the command, Mr. Magaji Mailafiya, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Wednesday in Sokoto.
Mailafiya said a vehicle with registration number BRK 53 MF was arrested along with the tusks at Nigeria’s border with Benin Republic in Lolo, Kebbi.
“The price of raw ivory in the international market is estimated to cost $730 per kg, which brings the duty payable value of the seizure to a total of N14,472,250.00,” he said.
According to him, the Customs Area Comptroller, Nasir Ahmed, inspected the tusks at the command’s headquarters in Sokoto.
Mailafiya said that the comptroller described the seizure as part of the Customs’ contribution to the fight against poaching of endangered species in Africa where the trade in elephant tusks constitutes part of the illegal ivory trade.
He also quoted the comptroller as commending the efforts of the operatives of the NCS at the Lolo border for intercepting the tusks, and urged them to remain alert in order to prevent the illegal importation of small arms and light weapons.
The spokesman said the command had begun investigations into the source of the two tusks.