The Gabonese authorities, in collaboration with the NGO Conservation Justice, are continuing to track down members of an international ivory trafficking network from Gabon to Cameroon. Five other suspected traffickers have been arrested in various locations. The alleged traffickers risk a prison sentence of up to 10 or even 20 years, as this is a transnational network organised as a criminal association.
Investigations into the dismantling of an international ivory trafficking network from Gabon to Cameroon are continuing. A trafficker suspected of recovering ivory in the provinces of Ogooué-Ivindo and Haut-Ogooué was arrested on 11 August 2023. Subsequently, on 17 and 18 August 2023, four other people were arrested between Makokou and Okondja. These four suppliers were successively arrested in Mohoba, Mbela, Zolindin and Bakeba-Bakouaka. Two additional ivory tusks weighing 11 kg were seized.
The alleged trafficker from Makokou is said to have admitted certain facts. The use of pick-up vehicles with a secret compartment under the body has been confirmed, facilitating the transport of ivory to Cameroon.
These operations follow those of 8, 9 and 10 August 2023, during which five suspected ivory traffickers were apprehended in Lambaréné and Sindara 1, in the Moyen-Ogooué and Ngounié provinces respectively. The total seized during these operations consisted of 120 kg of ivory, 18 rounds of 458 calibre hunting ammunition, nearly one million CFA francs in cash, illegal substances (Tramadol) and an expired residence permit belonging to a well-known Cameroonian ivory trafficker.
Read also-Gabon : un camerounais interpelé avec 120 kg d’ivoire
As a pyramid-type organised network, several local coordinators appear to collaborate with poachers, whose activities they finance and whose ivory they buy. The head of the network is believed to be in Cameroon, financing local traffickers, who in turn finance the poachers.
Those arrested face prison sentences of up to 10 or even 20 years, as this is a transnational network organised as a criminal association.