Dina Ngouela, Vox Congo
Translated from French by an automated online translation service
Of Congolese nationality, these two individuals were arrested by agents of the Nkayi Water and Forests brigade and the gendarmes with the support of the PLAF project. A seized ivory tusk, weighing 1 kg, representing a killed elephant, a fully protected animal species.
These alleged wildlife delinquents were arrested on December 12 in Nkayi in Bouenza. They are said to be regulars in the illegal trade in wildlife products in Bouenza and Lékoumou. One of the two suspected traffickers would have bought this ivory tusk in Sibiti from the poachers. He intended to resell it to Nkayi to his potential clients. The other would be his accomplice who would help him in this illicit traffic in the sugar town.
The investigations are continuing in order to arrest all the alleged wildlife offenders who played a role in this affair. They would have other products in other localities. Individuals caught in the bag with an ivory tusk are prosecuted for the possession, illegal circulation and attempted marketing of a trophy of a fully protected animal species (an ivory tusk). The latter will answer for their acts before the Congolese justice. They face sentences of up to five years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to 5 million CFA francs each.
The elephant enjoys absolute protection in the Republic of Congo following the 1991 decree as well as an act of the Sovereign National Conference. The species is threatened with extinction in many places in Congo due to poaching for its tusks.
Article 27 of the Congolese law on the protection of this wildlife species stipulates: “importation; export; the possession and transit through the national territory of fully protected species; as well as their trophies are strictly prohibited”.