16 suspected wildlife traffickers apprehended in March 2022


Boris Ngounou, Afrik21

Date Published
The fight against wildlife crime is in full swing in sub-Saharan Africa. At least 16 suspected wildlife traffickers were apprehended in four countries in the region during March 2022 alone. The monthly report from Eagle, an organization that advocates for wildlife law enforcement in Africa, also reports numerous animal and carcass seizures.
The Eagle Network’s monthly report was released on April 10, 2022. The eight-page document gives an update, with photos, of the wildlife law enforcement operations in Africa that received technical assistance from Eagle during the month of March 2022. The period seems short, and yet it was enough to arrest 16 alleged wildlife traffickers in Cameroon, Gabon, Congo and Togo.

The most notable arrests were in Cameroon. In the southern part of the Central African country, six suspected traffickers were arrested with five elephant tusks and about 10 kg of smoked chimpanzee meat during a crackdown on a criminal network. Police officers and the Cameroonian Ministry of Forests and Fauna’s regional delegation in the south also arrested a traditional chief in possession of two baby chimpanzees. He was keeping them captive in iron cages. According to the police, he trafficked the wild animals from the southern region and sold them in Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon.

Five Suspected Ivory Traffickers Arrested in Gabon
In Gabon, five traffickers were arrested. The arrests were made in two operations. In the first one, two individuals were apprehended trying to sell elephant tusks that they had cut into eight pieces. The ivory, which weighed a total of 55.6 kg, was concealed in two backpacks. During the second operation, three alleged traffickers were arrested with two tusks. The alleged traffickers, two Gabonese women and a Cameroonian man, were arrested in Libreville (the capital of Gabon) while attempting to sell the ivory.

All of these arrests of suspected wildlife criminals are being conducted with the assistance of Eagle (Eco Activities for Governance and Law Enforcement), an organization that advocates for wildlife law enforcement in Africa. Currently operating in nine sub-Saharan African countries, Eagle works with governments and civil society to improve the enforcement of national and international wildlife and environmental laws through a program of activities that includes investigations, arrests, prosecutions and publicity.