Published On: Thu, Aug 2nd, 2018

Nigeria investigates after pangolins seized in Japan

pangolinsABUJA, (CAJ News) – NIGERIA is investigating the seizure of pangolin scales worth US$450 million (about R6 billion) by Japan.

The scales are said to be originating from the Western African country.

The Japanese Customs Service‎ recently intercepted the scales weighing over 7 tonnes.

It is the second highest seizure of its kind.

Ibrahim Usman Jibril, Nigeria’s Minister of Environment, said government had initiated a probe of the alleged illegal trade by officially communicating with the Hong Kong Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species(CITES).

CITES is the global legal instrument for regulating international trade in wild animals and plants.

Jibril said the documents Japan would furnish Nigeria with would be forwarded to the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL) for further investigations.

The minister doubted Nigeria was the source of the scales seized at the Tsing Yi Cargo Examination Compound.

He argued pangolin were near extinction in the country.

“Nigeria is being used as a transit route for illegal wildlife trade and the image of our nation is being severed,” Jibril said.

“Traffickers have exploited and exposed us to some of these unwholesome practices which we frown at as a nation and defender of endangered species.”

The pangolin has become the most trafficked mammal on earth due to soaring demand in Asia.

Scales are prized for their supposed medicinal properties and its flesh is considered a delicacy.
– CAJ News

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