A soldier and his accomplice arrested with 20kg of ivory in Oyo (Republic of the Congo)

Jul 5, 2020 | News

By Vox Congo

Two alleged ivory traffickers, of Congolese nationality, were arrested on June 21 in Oyo, in the Cuvette, in the act of illegal detention and circulation, as well as of attempted marketing of two ivory tips, weighing a total of 20 kg, representing a slaughtered elephant. 

He is a soldier belonging to the Republican Guard stationed in Brazzaville and his accomplice whose profession is a sinner. One would be a buyer of these ivory tusks and the other a direct seller. The latter fell into the mesh of the police. Informed, the departmental direction of the forest economy of the Cuvette and the Project of support to the application of the law on wild fauna (PALF) welcomed this arrest and bring their legal support for the continuation of the procedure.

These ivories were said to have been bought by the military from an individual living in a village near the protected areas before being transported to Oyo. The alleged traffickers were preparing to resell them in this city if the public security forces had not intervened. After their arrest, these defendants will be referred to the Oyo prison where they will appear before the district court of this locality.

This is proof that the Covid-19 that is currently raging around the world has not pushed back the wildlife traffickers who in their actions are organizing themselves to harm wildlife heritage. Eyes are turned to justice to severely condemn these acts, for a good cause, that of the protection of biodiversity.

In recent years, trafficking in wildlife worldwide has become more organized, more lucrative, more widespread, and more dangerous than ever, just like drug trafficking. A report published by the Wildlife conservation society (WCS) states that African forest elephants have declined 62% in 10 years. This same report adds that every 15 minutes, on average, an elephant is illegally slaughtered on the African continent to feed an insatiable demand for ivory. The illegal trade in wildlife products leads to the extinction of wildlife species around the world.

In the Republic of Congo, the elephant is one of the fully protected animal species, in accordance with decree No. 6075 / MDDEFE / CAB of April 9, 2011 determining fully and partially protected animal species. In addition, article 27 of Law 37/2008 of 28 November 2008 on wildlife and protected areas stipulates: “importation; export; the retention and transit through the national territory of fully protected species; as well as their trophies are strictly prohibited”. 

Violators of these provisions incur penalties of up to five (5) years imprisonment and fines ranging from 100,000 FCFA to 5 million FCFA.

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