Court decision Natitingou: Two ivory traffickers jailed for years in prison (Benin)


Emmanuel Gbeto, L’Evènement Précis

Date Published

Translated from the French by an automated online translation service, so please excuse the roughness. See link for original.

See link for photo. 

4 years and 3 years, 4 months’ imprisonment. This is the result of the sentence delivered by the court of Natitingou against two traffickers of ivory. The decision came down on Thursday, August 24, 2017. 

Without favor or sentimentalism, the recidivist Kora Basile was sentenced to forty-eight (48) months’ imprisonment and the man named Doko David must spend forty (40) months behind bars.  

And that’s not all. The two accused are jointly sentenced to a fine of 400,000 CFA francs and to the payment to the Beninese State of the sum of three million CFA francs in damages. The judge fixed the imprisonment of 5 days for damages and 10 days for fines. 

Contrary to Law No. 2002-16 of 18 October 2004 pertaining to the wildlife regime in the Republic of Benin, the actors wanted to market the fourteen (14) tusks of these elephants that were killed on Friday, August 11, 2017—the eve of the celebration of World Elephant Day. 

The souls of these wild animals are protected by Benin, claiming justice. These traffickers were intercepted with the 14 tusks weighing 24 kg, by the elements of the central police station of Natitingou. 

Furthermore, it should be noted that this struggle has been going on for years. Indeed, former Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon of the United Nations declared in his message as part of the celebration of World Environment Day on June 5, 2016: “The time is serious. Elephants are massacred for their tusks . . .”  

Let us remember that the theme of this day was zero tolerance against the illegal trade in wildlife. This call should be an invitation to all actors in the fight against wildlife crime. Speaking of “zero tolerance,” the court in Natitingou has just demonstrated that Ban Ki-Moon’s alert has not fallen on deaf ears. This condemnation, although it is a deterrent, adds to the struggle of conservation actors, whose support program for the Enforcement of Laws on Fauna and Flora in Benin (AALF-BENIN) strengthens the fight against wildlife crime.  

For now, it is necessary to follow closely the decision of the ministries of justice and the environment. This call should be an invitation to all actors to fight against wildlife crime.