Mozambican police reveal increased ivory trafficking

Oct 26, 2019 | News

By André Baptista, VOA

Manica Police expressed concern about a new wave of ivory trafficking from pieces stolen in Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique’s most important conservation area.

The revelation was made by Mateus Mindu, a spokesman for the Manica Police, on Friday, 25 days after the corporation seized 11 more trophies and arrested three other suspected members of a drug gang.

“We are continuing a close fight against ivory tusk trafficking and other trophies and various operations have culminated with arrests and arrests,” Mindu said, adding that over the past three months the number of ivory tusks seized by the authorities has grown.

Earlier this month, another police operation seized seven ivory tusks and detained three suspects in the Vanduzi district who were transporting the trophies to Beira, where they would be exported to Asia.

Already in August, the police had detained two Cambodian citizens and seized 10 ivory tusks in their possession in Barué district, which is not far from a corridor (from Macossa) that connects to Gorongosa National Park.

“These apprehensions and arrests indicate that we are facing a new trafficking network adopting a new route out of the trophies,” said Mateus Mindu.

With this operation, which was coordinated between the Police and the National Administration of Conservation Areas (ANAC), 28 trophies have been seized and eight suspects arrested in the last three months in Manica.

It should be noted that it was in Cambodia, at the port of Phnom Penh, that in December 2018, 1,026 elephant tusks were seized, which we were told at the time were stolen from the storerooms of the authorities that manage trophies of animals from poaching, in Lichinga, in the Mozambican province of Niassa.

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