Nigerian courtroom convicts Vietnamese for trafficking in Pangolin scales

A federal courtroom in Lagos on Friday sentenced a Vietnamese, Nguyen Huy, to a few months in jail for trafficking in 200 kiogrammes of Pangolin scales.

Daniel Osiagor, the choose, jailed Mr Huy after he pleaded responsible to 2 counts of trafficking introduced in opposition to him by the Nigeria Customs Service.

In line with the Customs, the convict contravened Nigeria’s Customs and Excise Administration Act with the illegal possession of Pangolin scales, a specimen specified within the First Schedule to the Endangered Species Act.

Mr Huy was introduced earlier than the courtroom after he – alongside others who’re nonetheless at massive – was arrested by Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and Wildlife Justice Fee( WJC), a joint wildlife enforcement operations, focusing on unlawful wildlife traffickers of Pangolin scales from Africa to Asia.

On the listening to of the fees in opposition to the convict, immediately, the prosecutor, Onyeka Ohakwe, knowledgeable the courtroom that the suspects dedicated the offences on ninth Could at a Rooster Republic restaurant in Marina, Lagos.

The prosecutor knowledgeable the courtroom that the offences dedicated by the convict, contravened Sections 64 of the Customs and Excise Administration Act, 2004. She stated the offence is opposite to and punishable below part 166 of the Customs and Excise Administration Act, Cap. C45, Legal guidelines of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

Additionally it is opposite to part 5(1) of the Endangered Species (Management of Worldwide Commerce and Site visitors) Act, 2004 and punishable below part 5(1)(a) of the identical Act.

Upon his responsible plea, the prosecutor, Mrs Ohakwe, thereafter, reviewed the details of the cost and tendered some reveals, which have been admitted by the courtroom.

She additionally urged the courtroom to convict Mr Huy and to condemn him in step with the sections of the Customs Act he was charged for.

Nigerian courtroom convicts Vietnamese for trafficking in Pangolin scales

However the convict’s counsel, Okey Mgbobukwa, pleaded with the courtroom to mood justice with mercy in sentencing his consumer.

He notably urged the courtroom to contemplate that the convict pleaded responsible to the fees made in opposition to him.

In his judgment, Mr Osiagor, after listening to from the counsel, sentenced the Vietnamese to a few months imprisonment in every of the 2 counts.

The choose additionally ordered that the sentence shall run concurrently and to start from the date of his arrest.

Pangolin is the world’s most trafficked animal, prized for its scales that are utilized in conventional medication in China. In 2019, the World Environmental Reporting Collective selected the pangolin commerce as its first focus for in-depth investigation.

In March, PREMIUM TIMES analysed wildlife crimes information and located proof of systematic failure by the Nigerian regulation enforcement and judicial system to carry wildlife poachers and traffickers accountable.

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