Fight Against Wildlife Crime in Senegal Operations “Punch” in Ziguinchor For a Record Entry of 1,081 Pieces of Ivory, Elephant Hair, Lion Trophies, and Sixteen Shells of Green Turtle, a Highly Endangered Species (Senegal)



Date Published

The county area of administration of water and forests of Ziguinchor, reinforced by elements of the police of the central police station, with the technical support of Senegal Project Application Wildlife Act (SALF), arrested two traffickers in the flagrant offense of detaining, circulating, marketing and certainly capturing trophies of species that are fully protected by the Washington Convention of 1977, to which Senegal is a party per the Senegalese Act of 1986, Code of Hunting and the Protection of Wildlife and order made under this act.

The first international trafficker, Mr. Fallou Thiam, was arrested in possession of a record historical amount, for Senegal, of 1069 ivory objects and hair of the very threatened African elephant and 12 illegal products of the African lion. Not less than 797 bracelets and ivory necklaces and 200 bracelets made of elephant hair were seized during his arrest in flagrante delicto. Following a search of his shop in Cap Skiring, 72 bracelets and necklaces made of ivory and elephant hair were found and seized, as well as 10 claws and 2 teeth of lion, a species also fully protected in Senegal, which brings the total seizure for this trafficking alone to 1081 illegal wildlife trophies.

The second trafficker, Mr Babacar Goudiaby, was meanwhile arrested red-handed two days earlier, with, in his possession: sixteen fresh shells of marine turtles, which put him at risk for,  said an expert in wildlife crime who asked not to be named, a prison sentence of one year with a possible fine of FCFA 1.2000.000. According to the same expert, the sanction would be heavier if the crime of capturing these highly endangered sea turtles from their natural habitat would be used against him. Indeed the observed state of the shells left no doubt about the recent deaths of the captured turtles. These two traffickers will be soon presented to justice to answer for the gravity of their acts.

As a reminder, the illegal trade in wildlife is an organized transnational crime that is the fifth largest illicit trade in the world after drugs, weapons, money laundering, and human trafficking. This illegal trade, including the ivory trade, helps finance terrorist groups who do not say their names; that agrees with the current context of the country where the terrorist threat is no longer a secret to severely punish these traffickers. The aim of these arrests, again, is to give a strong signal to the traffickers about the willingness of the authorities responsible for the implementation of laws protecting wildlife, so that standards that are authoritative in this field are more effective than ever for the survival of wildlife and peace in Senegal.