Sometime in October this year, Vietnam seized 8 tonnes of pangolin scales. The shipment was said to have originated from Nigeria.

Now, the Nigeria Customs Service, Strike Force, Zone ‘A,’ has said between November and December 30, it seized 195 sacks of pangolin scales weighing 7560.9kg, with a street value of 8.4 billion naira.

But what is in a Pangolin scale? Well, it is widely believed that Pangolin's blood and embryos cure sexual impotence. So, it is not impossible that some Nigerian men could be relying on the endangered animal to keep up their sex life.

While showing the seized items to journalists in Lagos on Monday, the National Coordinator of the Strike Force, Abdullahi Kirawa, said the Force also seized 360-million-naira worth of sex-enhancing drugs, as well as explosive fireworks concealed as machinery.

He listed other seizures as 8,090 bags of parboiled foreign rice, 22 bales of used clothing, 404 pieces of used tyres and 108 kegs of vegetable oil.

He said about 600 bags of rice were concealed among empty crates of beer.

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Kirawa explained that the seized pangolin scales were of global interest as the animal was one of the endangered species.

He added that pangolin meat and scales were in high demand and very expensive in the black market.

“One kilogramme of the meat is sold for 110,000 naira while in the black market in Asia, the scales sell for 1.1 million naira per kilogramme.

“The International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources says of the eight species of pangolin, all are endangered and two of them are critically endangered.

“This is why in November 2010, the Geological Society of London listed pangolin as one of the most endangered and evolutionary species that are to be handled with care, or else they will go into extinction.”

Kirawa disclosed that seven people were arrested in connection with the seizures.

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