Richard Ginika Izuora
Border officials in the United Kingdom have seized 500gm of cocaine shipped from Nigeria.
The cocaine was destined for India, the Hindustan Times reports.
In addition to the cocaine haul from Nigeria, UK border authorities also announced other contraband seizures. These include 174,400 sildenafil tablets sourced from India to the UK and other seizures. The seizure of sildenafil tablets from India; which were meant to treat erectile dysfunction is the second such major UK seizure in two years.
The discoveries formed part of a month-long operation that equally resulted in the recoveries of elephant tusks and reptile skin products and were made under an operation codenamed Operation Thunder; which commenced from September 14 to October 11.
The UK authorities say officers at ports and airports made 178 seizures containing thousands of products regulated under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. These include the cocaine shipped from Nigeria.
The operation, an international one in outlook, was co-led by the World Customs Organisation and Interpol.
Also, it involved the police, customs, environment, wildlife and forestry agencies from 111 countries. The seizures included 1.3 tonnes of ivory, more than one tonne of Pangolin scales, 1,400 live turtles; as well as 1,800 reptiles.
“The trade in endangered species is driven by organised crime groups and the movement of banned animal products is key to how they operate,’’ said Chris Philp, minister for Immigration Compliance and the Courts.
“This is why Border Force’s specialist officers will continue their vital work at the border to prevent the importation and exportation of endangered animals and plants; as well as working alongside enforcement partners such as the National Wildlife Crime Unit; and police from across the UK to eradicate this ruthless and exploitative trade.’’