Guinean nationals accused of smuggling thousands of pounds of endangered animal parts to appear in Nigeria’s Federal High Court

Five Guinean nationals accused of attempting to export nearly 38,000 pounds of pangolin scales and over 1900 pounds of elephant

Reuters 2

Photo: Reuters

Five Guinean nationals accused of attempting to export nearly 38,000 pounds of pangolin scales and over 1900 pounds of elephant tusks from Nigeria will today appear in the Federal High Court. The original court date was postponed due to the unavailability of a translator.

Nigeria has become a strategic hub for illegal traffickers smuggling pangolin scales and elephant tusks due to its availability and relevant lack of enforcement. The demand for the endangered animal parts is especially high in Asia where they are used as folk medicine, charms and status symbols.

The trial will likely follow Abuja increasing cooperation with international organizations such as the Wildlife Justice Commission (WJC) to suppress endangered animal smuggling. In this context, Abuja’s police and security forces will increase nationwide investigations and house raids in the short- to medium-term, and additional suspects will be prosecuted.

It is highly likely that Abuja will also pass legislation tightening the penalties for the smuggling of valuable animal parts. This will prompt smugglers to move their operations into neighboring countries as demand remains high. Taken together, Sub-Saharan Africa will likely remain as the smuggling center for such products despite Nigeria’s success in suppressing it within its borders.

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