NACOB arrests 3 for exporting mammal species

•    Nana Nsiah (middle), answering questions from the media. Flank- ing him are Mr. Joseph Allotey, Deputy Chief Executive of the FC and Mrs. Joyce Ofori Kwarfo, Public Relations Manager, FC

• Nana Nsiah (middle), answering questions from the media. Flank- ing him are Mr. Joseph Allotey, Deputy Chief Executive of the FC and Mrs. Joyce Ofori Kwarfo, Public Relations Manager, FC

The Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) has arrested three people for using Ghana as a transit point to export Pangolin scales to Malaysia.

They are Prosper Kumako, Prince Anim, both export agents, and Robert Konu, an exporter.

Pangolin is an endangered scaly mammal species, and its scale contains narcotic drug and medicinal component, found mostly in Africa and Asian forests.

Some countries have banned the hunting and trade of the mammals because  they are threatened.

Nana Kofi Adu Nsiah, Executive Director of the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission, announced these at a media encounter at Achimota in Accra on Friday.

He said the arrest was as a result of a story published by the Associated Press (AP) on June 16, 2017, indicating that the Malaysian Custom officials have seized about 400 kilogrames of pangolin scales worth 1.2million dollars at the Kuala Lumpur Airport, transported by Turkish Airlines from Ghana.

Nana Nsiah said pangolin is classified as endangered mammal species, and banned globally in accordance with the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), also known as Washington Convention signed in 1973, as an international agreement, which Ghana is a signatory.

He said exportation of the stock has been mostly done over the years in Nigeria, but the Nigerian authorities have tightened its security on its exportation, and the cartel were now operating via Ghana.

Nana Nsiah said during NACOB interrogations, Kumako admitted having facilitated the exportation of pangolin scales for  the third time from Ghana to Malaysia, under the export label “Oyster Shells.”

Prince, he said, also confessed facilitating the export of the scales, and mentioned one Robert Konu as the one who brought the pangolin scales for export on all occasions to Malaysia, mentioning one Lee, a Chinese as his source of supply.

Nana Nsiah said Robert indicated that Lee sent him the stock through an accomplice in Nigeria, which he received at Nigeria bus stations in Ghana, for onward exportation to Malaysia.

He said the culprits have been handed to the police for investigations and prosecution, and warned wildlife traffickers to desist from the practice, since the Forestry Commission was collaborating with other stakeholders to combat wildlife offenders.

 

BY SETH ADU AGYEI

 

 

 

 

 

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