Nigerian held with ivory, sword cane

Police suspect he entered country on fake visa

September 22, 2019 04:55 am | Updated 04:55 am IST - Navi Mumbai

Seized: The elephant tusk and sword cane found at Uzodima Hope’s residence, and his passport.

Seized: The elephant tusk and sword cane found at Uzodima Hope’s residence, and his passport.

The Anti Narcotics Cell (ANC) in Navi Mumbai have arrested a Nigerian national, for possession of ivory and a sword cane, earlier this week. Uzodima Hope (40), who resided at Bonkhode village in Koparkhairane, was traced with the help of King Chukwudi Fidelis (30).

Mr. Fidelis, another Nigerian, was arrested at Sector 13 in Koparkhairane last week for the possession of 64 gm of amphetamine powder worth ₹3.2 lakh.

Investigations revealed that he had got the drug from Mr. Hope, and hence the police set out to nab him. “While searching Mr. Hope’s house, we found a 12 inch-long elephant tusk worth ₹1.65 lakh and a sword cane. Upon interrogation, he confessed that he had smuggled them from Nigeria,” senior police inspector Ravindra Budhwant, ANC, said.

He said the duo had entered the country on tourist visas, which looked fake to the police, and they would be verifying them.

‘Clothing business’

The accused claimed to have a clothing business in the country but police suspect the claim is an attempt to cover up the smuggling. Mr. Hope has not yet revealed where he got the drugs from.

Meanwhile, the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau confirmed the authenticity of the seized ivory, after which the police has booked the duo under sections of the Wildlife Protection Act along with those of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act and the Arms Act. Mr. Hope and Mr. Fidelis are currently in judicial custody.

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