October 3, 2023.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
The Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), on Friday, said it has arrested a daredevil wildlife smuggler, Felix Maiva, in Lagos.
Maiva, according to a press statement made available to Akelicious by the public relations officer, Theophilus Duniya, had been on the run since 2021.
According to him, Maiva planned to export elephant ivory, pangolin scales, rhinoceros horns, and some lion skeletons to Haiphong, Vietnam, in January 2021 through the Apapa Sea Port, Lagos-Nigeria.
“The Nigeria Customs Service Federal Operations Unit Zone A has arrested Mr Felix Maiva, a wanted wildlife smuggling kingpin who has been on the run since 2021. Maiva’s arrest is a fallout of intense investigation and surveillance that followed the discovery of a 1 X 20 feet container found to contain 4,752kg of elephant ivory, 5,239kg of pangolin scales, 5kg of rhinoceros horns, and some lion skeletons. The illegal wildlife products were bound to be exported to Haiphong, Vietnam, in January 2021 through the Apapa Sea Port, Lagos-Nigeria.
“The suspect is a shipping agent for the BERETE organised crime group that is wanted by the Nigeria Customs Service for their involvement in the January 2021 seizure and other organised wildlife trafficking offences.”
Duniya, however, disclosed that the acting Customs Area Controller, Hussein Ejibunu, applauded the officers for their diligence and intelligent driven operation that led to the arrest of the wanted wild life kingpin.
It is worthy of note that the earlier wildlife seizure made by operatives of the Nigeria Customs Service in Apapa led to the conviction of a clearing agent, Mr Felix OLAME, in June 2023 by a Federal High Court in Lagos. Furthermore, the acting CAC commended the officers for their tact, intelligence and consistency in following up on the suspect, reiterated that smuggling suspects, no matter how far they run, would be caught by the long arms of the law.
“He describes the breakthrough as a morale booster for officers following up on similar cases and suspects. Maiva’s arrest comes as a result of an intelligence-driven operation by Officers of the Nigeria Customs Service and the Wildlife Justice Commission to support the global effort to fight crimes against endangered species.”(www.naija247news.com).