International Police Organisation (INTERPOL) has expressed its readiness to partner with the management of the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency, (NESREA) to stop Nigeria from being used as a transit route to smuggle wildlife.
Speaking during a courtesy call on the Director General of NESREA, the commissioner of police in charge of Interpol, Olusola Kamer Subair, affirmed the readiness of his organisation to partner with NESREA to tackle all forms of environmental crime and especially to stop the country from being used as trans-shipment route by unscrupulous persons.
Subair said although Nigeria was not their originating point, it was worrisome to receive increasing cases of shipment of endangered species such as pangolin and elephant tusks being traced back to Nigeria.
“The trend has started again. And if we are not careful, these organised criminals will put Nigeria in trouble again,” he added.
The commissioner noted that to foster smooth relationship, NESREA and Interpol should work together through exchange of information; improved data base and any other available record sharing, including capacity building, seminar and workshops.
“These are the necessary ingredients that can assist in tracking all forms of environmental crimes, including those that have to do with waste, cyber, fishery and electronics,” he said.
Responding, the Director General of NESREA, Dr. Lawrence Anukam, said he was delighted at the prospect of developing fruitful working relationship with Interpol even though an enduring relationship already existed with the Nigeria Police.
Dr. Anukam explained to the Interpol boss that an environmental training manual was already in place to educate and inform the police about ways to tackle environmental crime.
“We must not allow this trend to continue; we shouldn’t allow our country to be blacklisted again by these criminals,” he said.