A Nigerian, who identified himself as Uzodima Hope has been arrested in India on suspected trafficking in drug and other banned wildlife goods.
The Anti- Narcotics Cell in Navi Mumbai, the Indian state of Maharashtra in Konkan division, arrested the Nigerian for alleged possession of ivory and a sword cane.
According to The Hindu, an online medium, 40-year-old Uzodima Hope resided at Bonkhode village in Koparkhairane, and was reportedly traced with the help of another Nigerian, 30-year-old King Chukwudi Fidelis.
Fidelis, too, was reportedly arrested at Sector 13 in Koparkhairane last week for the possession of 64grammes of amphetamine powder worth ₹3.2 lakh ($4,494.56).
“Investigations revealed that he had got the drug from Mr. Hope,” the Navi Mumbai anti-narcotics agents said.
“While searching Mr. Hope’s house, we found a 12 inch-long elephant tusk worth .65 lakh ($2,317.51) and a sword cane.
“Upon interrogation, he confessed that he had smuggled them from Nigeria,” senior police inspector Ravindra Budhwant, ANC, said.
He said the duo had entered the country on tourist visas, which looked fake to the Police, and they would be verifying them.
The accused claimed to have a clothing business in the country but police suspect the claim is an attempt to cover up the smuggling.
Mr. Hope has not yet revealed where he got the drugs from.
Meanwhile, the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau confirmed the authenticity of the seized ivory, after which the police has booked the duo under sections of the Wildlife Protection Act, along with those of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act and the Arms Act.
“Mr. Hope and Mr. Fidelis are currently in judicial custody,” the police said.