Men Who Smuggled In 145 Poisonous Snake Into Nigeria Disappear From Custody In Calabar

Two persons arrested for allegedly smuggling 145 poisonous snakes and other tropical rainforest reptiles from Cameroon to Nigeria, have disappeared from the custody of the Nigerian Agricultural and Quarantine Agency in Calabar.

The suspects, identified as Victor Agbor and Julius Novigana, were handed over to officials of the NAQS on July 26 by the Customs Area Comptroller in charge of Calabar Free Trade Zone, Cross River and Akwa Ibom Commands, Mrs. Nanbyen Burromvyat, following their interception.

Mr. Ibrahim Jubril, the Minister of State for Environment, who visited the office weekend, to hand over the reptiles to the University of Uyo for research, was told by the director of the agency, Sunday Uket, that the two persons who were brought for the crime has disappeared and they had no idea where they went to.

The Minister said he was surprised and unhappy with the agency’s poor handling of the situation. He revealed that the smugglers would have been a veritable source of information on where they got the reptiles, where they were taking them to and for what purpose.

Speaking while handing over the reptiles to the University of Uyo representatives, Mr. Jubril said the importers wanted to use Nigeria as a transit point for smuggling the items to Rotterdam and Luxemburg.

Snake expert from the Department of Forestry and Natural Environment Management, Dr. Edem Eniang who took delivery of three boxes, said the snakes were professionally packaged for export and that the venom in African mambas is the best and the most sought after in Europe for the treatment of stroke and high blood pressure. He also revealed that the snakes will be separated and those still alive will be trained in a snake farm and then milked for their venom to be used for scientific research by the university.

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