Translated from French by an automated online translation service, so please excuse the roughness. See link for original. Thank you to Anne Dillon for both volunteering her time to find these French articles and doing the online translating.
The hearing, which took place Tuesday, December 6, 2016, at the court of first instance of Cotonou, has not been in favor of those who destroy natural resources. You may recall that three ivory traffickers fell into the net of the criminal brigade of the Central Directorate of the Judicial Police Monday, October 3, 2016, in the area of the Red Star in Cotonou.
They had on them more than three ivory tusks weighing 12.3 kilograms. At the hearing yesterday, the judge found the defendants B. Wahabou and B. Latifou guilty of the trafficking of tusks of a fully protected species. It sentenced them to two months’ imprisonment and a fine of 500.000F CFA each. The third, named Badjimou J., was convicted of complicity and sentenced to two months’ imprisonment and a fine 300.000F CFA. It should be noted that the judge set the civil interests to 1.500.000F CFA they have to pay jointly and severally all three.
That’s a decision that has to some extent strengthened the fight against wildlife crime in Benin and encourages the government to better crisscross the field. Knowing that the elephant is a fully protected species, we would have liked more of a deterrent punishment for those who are still involved in the destruction of wildlife. Remember, sections 153, 154, 166 of Law No. 2002-16 of 18 October 2004 on the regime of wildlife in the Republic of Benin and its implementing regulations provide for fines between 100,000 F and 800,000 F and/or imprisonment between three months and five years.
In any case, justice has said the law and is invited to remain in this logic especially with regard to fauna. By this decision, the Cotonou Court of First Instance warns poachers and traffickers that everyone must work for the protection of fully protected species.