Cameroon: The arrest of six presumed traffickers of ivory

Dec 10, 2020 | News

By Patricia Eock, Afric Telegraph

The suspects belong to an organized ivory trafficking network whose ramifications extend as far as Nigeria.

Six suspected ivory traffickers were arrested in early December in the eastern region of Cameroon, in a joint operation by the departmental delegation of the Ministry of Forests and Wildlife and the police.

This operation was carried out with technical assistance from LAGA, an NGO specializing in law enforcement on wildlife. Two of the suspects were arrested on December 2 in Bertoua, the regional capital, with four ivory tusks, two of which came from baby elephants. They were arrested while trying to carry out their illicit transaction. Further investigations led to the arrest on December 3 in the locality of Yokadouma of four other suspects.

Among them, a Nigerian national and a Cameroonian repeat offender arrested and sentenced in 2016 for the same offense. According to a source close to the case who requested anonymity, the six suspects belong to an organized ivory trafficking network. Preliminary investigations reveal that they are trafficking ivory tusks to neighboring Nigeria. They are accused of illegal killing and trade in protected wildlife.

They face a prison sentence of 1 to 3 years and / or a fine of up to 10 million CFA francs if found guilty. Elephants are classified as protected species and the trafficking of their part is totally prohibited in Cameroon. On November 26, three traffickers, including a woman, were sentenced to one year in prison and to pay a fine of 200,000 CFA francs.
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