The Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service yesterday reopened the shut warehouses of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc. (NAHCO) and the Skyway Aviation Handling Company Limited (SAHCOL) at the Lagos airport.
The warehouses were on Monday shut by customs officers of the FOU ‘A’ over alleged stolen donkey skins imported from Kenya.
Confirming the reopening of the warehouse to journalists in Lagos, the Public Relations Officer of the Zone, Jerry Attah said the export warehouse had been reopened after it was sealed by their officers on Monday.
According to him, some Chinese nationals, had intended to export Donkey skins which was a contraband in Nigeria, to China through the terminal.
Other prohibited items seized from the suspected smugglers included eight sacks of pangolin weighing 381 kilogrammes. (Pangolins, are burrowing mammals which eat ants and termites. They are of the order Pholidota with huge, tough, thick overlapping scales covering all of their body.
It was learnt that the Customs’ investigation revealed that Chinese in the country were using Nigerian seaports and airports to smuggle Kenyan treasures to their country as some Chinese have been arrested in connection with these seized items.
The suspects were allegedly planning to use Nigerian freight forwarders to ship the items to their country, China.
However, an official of the NAHCO, Sam Akinrinmade, who also confirmed the reopening of the export warehouse by Customs said, the warehouse was re-opend been reopened on Wednesday afternoon.
The action of the suspected Chinese was said to have contravened the Schedule 6 of the Nigerian Exports Prohibition List, which prescribes as illegal any attempt to export wild animals and endangered species.
Please recall that men of the Nigeria Customs Service ordered the closure of the export warehouses belonging to NAHCO Aviance and SAHCOL over allegations of the stolen donkey skins From Kenya.
It would also be recalled that last June, the Customs apprehended two Chinese nationals attempting to smuggle 678 pieces of elephant tusks and other prohibited items out of Nigeria through SAHCOL.