Nigerian officials intercept 7,000 smuggled donkey penises at international airport after smell from sacks aroused suspicion
- The 7,000 donkey penises were being smuggled to Hong Kong in 16 sacks
- But customs officers at international airport in Lagos intercepted packages
- The illicit trade of donkey parts – including animal’s penises and skin – from Nigeria to China is common as they are used to make Chinese medicine
Nigerian officials have intercepted 7,000 donkey penises at an international airport after the smell from the packages aroused suspicion.
The donkey penises were being smuggled to Hong Kong in 16 sacks but customs officers at Murtala Muhammed airport in the Nigerian city of Lagos intercepted the packages.
Sambo Dangaladima, the customs controller at the airport, told the BBC that the animal parts were found in sacks in the animal export section
He said that a pungent smell was coming from the bags, arousing suspicion among the customs officers who then opened the packages to find the 7,000 donkey penises
Dangaladima said that a suspect linked to the shipment, which is worth an estimated 200 million Naira (£416,000), managed to escape.
The illicit trade of donkey parts – including the animal’s penises and skin – from Nigeria to China is common
The animal parts are used in China to make a traditional medicine called ejiao.
In June, the Nigerian Customs Service said that they had intercepted three 100kg bags filled with donkey genitalia and 3,712 pieces of donkey skin at an airport.
Four months earlier in March, four suspects were arrested while they were trying to smuggle 2,754 donkey penises and 3,712 pieces of skin
Nigeria lost over £6 billion to the illicit trade of smuggling donkey parts to China from 2012 to 2018, officials said.
It is illegal in Nigeria to kill donkeys for their body parts and smuggle them to foreign countries – but illicit smuggling continues.
The Donkey Dealers Association of Nigeria this week urged the Nigerian government to prosecute those who engage in the indiscriminate killing of donkeys and the smuggling of their animal parts outside the country.
The charity said they have invested millions into the breeding of donkeys but the smugglers are sabotaging their efforts