By Louis Iba
The Nigeria Customs Service (NSC) has ordered the closure of the export warehouses belonging to the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (nahco aviance) and the Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCOL) over allegations of stolen donkey skins which were to be illegally exported out of the country. The exact value of the donkey skill could however not be ascertained as at press time.
Daily Sun learnt that yesterday that the Federal Operations Unit of NCS decided to shut down the Lagos export units of both ground handling firms following a tip-off that there were some compromises between their officials and some Chinese citizens to allow the export of the stolen items through Emirates Air out of Nigeria at a later date.
“The donkey skin listed as prohibited items that should not be traded anywhere in the world, believed to have been stolen from Kenya and warehoused by the two handling companies,” said a source at the Lagos airport.
The Chinese, it was gathered, had brought the items into Nigeria from Kenya, but needed some Nigerian freight forwarders to finally help them ship them to their country.
It was also learnt that NCS discovered the Chinese were using some Nigerian Customs agents to export the contraband to their home country through either the seaport or airports.
Meanwhile, two Chinese have been arrested in connection with the seized items.
The spokesman for SHACOL, Mr. Basil Agboarumi, confirmed the incident but said “the investigation was still on going.”
It would be recalled that last June, NCS apprehended two Chinese nationals attempting to smuggle 678 pieces of elephant tusks and other prohibited items out of Nigeria through SAHCOL.