Houston - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers assigned to George Bush Intercontinental Airport's Air Cargo division seized a rug stitched with crocodile skin earlier this month.
The shipment, which arrived from Lagos, Nigeria, was selected for inspection by CBP officers. During the inspection officers discovered the rug and one other animal skin. CBP officers referred the rug to U.S. Fish and Wildlife for further examination, and they determined the reptile stitch pattern was in fact crocodile skin.
"Our officers' vigilance while performing their duties outlines the broad scope of the enforcement responsibilities that CBP employees carry out on a daily basis," said Houston Director of Field Operations Judson W. Murdock, II. "This seizure is an excellent example of interagency collaboration between federal agencies whose common goals help to protect the public and wildlife."
Crocodiles are an endangered species and the importation of their skins or leather is prohibited. The rug was turned over to U.S. Fish and Wildlife for final disposition.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.