By Ifeyinwa Obi
THE Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has arrested a Malian and two Guinea nationals, who attempted to smuggle 17 wraps of elephant tusks, hand bangles and other ivory products into the country.
Accordingly, the NCS, Murtala Muhammed International Airport Command, Ikeja, has handed over the three foreigners to the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) for prosecution.
The NCS said in a statement on Wednesday that the items were concealed in two bags by the Malian. The Guinean nationals were arrested with eight suitcases, containing 43 elephant tusks, 443 ivory bangles and 360 ivory sticks, which they attempted to bring into the country.
“All the three suspects were handed over to the National Environmental (Standards) and Regulations Enforcement Agency for prosecution.”
The statement identified the Mali national as Diakite Mamadon, with passport number BA0640102, while the two Guinea nationals were identified as Messrs Kaba Aboubacar, with passport number R0239865; and Sidime Yacouba, passport number R0275919.
The statement quoted the Customs Airport Command Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Thelma Williams, as saying the prohibited items found their ways into the country against the worldwide practice of protecting these endangered wildlife species from extinction.