Cameroon: Two Wildlife Traffickers Arrested in Kumbo (Cameroon)


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Date Published

During an operation carried out by the Departmental Delegation of Forestry and Wildlife of Bui, they were arrested in and detained with dozens of illegal skulls of primates.

On the way to Kumbo, leaving Nkambe, one of the traffickers was arrested by the wildlife service, that worked in collaboration with the company of police and judicial authorities of Kumbo. For its part, the NGO LAGA, working in the wildlife law enforcement sector, provided the necessary technical assistance. Traffickers in question were charged with illegally detaining and marketing trophies of wildlife.

Information Gathering Network

A network for gathering information preliminary investigations has established that there were at least two people involved in the trafficking. One was arrested, but his statements seemed to indicate that the booty belonged to at least two people. One of the suspects, a 39-year-old man called Ria had eight skulls of primates to be routed to his accomplice, named Damian, for sale at Kumbo.

The overall booty consisted of fifteen skulls of mandrills, a buffalo horn, six skulls of gorillas, and other parts of primates, while two suspects were presented to the public prosecutor in the courts of Kumbo. Following the first arrest of trafficker Mill Ndjaga Arland, the Departmental Delegate of Forestry and Wildlife of Bui, who led the field operation team said, “We have established a network of information collection and information on illegal wildlife trafficking in the department that, in fact, is a transit area, and after use of the information that we had, the trafficker was arrested with the assistance of LAGA.”

Indeed, the towns of Kumbo and Nkambe and are considered a main zone of transit of the products which leave Cameroon for Nigeria and vice versa. This is the second time in the space of less than seven months that a trafficker was arrested with products from the wildlife in Kumbo, always from Nkambe.

3.5 Tons of Ivory Items Incinerated

Since the beginning of this year, the Ministry of Forests and Wildlife is alert to a way to track down and prosecute traffickers of wildlife species that endanger the survival of these species. And President Paul Biya has given new impetus to the area of wildlife officials in their struggle, following the decision to authorize the Minister of Forestry and Wildlife to incinerate in Yaounde 3.5 tons of ivory tusks and seized and confiscated objects. This ceremony was recently held at the esplanade of the Yaounde Conference Palace. American ambassador of the United Nations, Samantha Power, was a guest of honor at this high-profile event.

Destroying ivory is a conservation initiative that was launched in 1989 by former Kenyan President Daniel Arap Moi who then burned twelve tons of ivory to attract the international community’s attention to the slaughter of elephants in his country.

The reaction was immediate and the Washington Convention banned the trade in elephant ivory.  Many countries, including Gabon and Congo in the central African sub-region conducted  ivory burns, while environmentalists argue that this symbolic gesture is a strong message to the traffickers and poachers.

The governmental fight against trafficking is a good signal to the public about the fate of  African elephants. An estimated 30,000 elephants are killed each year to fuel the illegal trade in ivory.–