High Court Ouesso: the fate of three suspected poachers will be known on November 24 (Republic of the Congo)


Agence d’Information d’Afrique Centrale/Brazzaville.

Date Published

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Arrested on September 30 in the department of Sangha—Jules Bonzenga (33 years old), from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Oscar Yogo (28), and Jordan Bolangala (23), both of Congolese nationality—appeared on October 13 acknowledging the charges against them.

Before the judges of the Criminal Chamber of the High Court of Ouesso, these three suspected poachers caught with 35 kg of ivory were prosecuted for possession, transit, and marketing of trophies of a strictly protected animal species. The Office of Public Prosecutor was very strict in the course of this public hearing, where the alleged traffickers avoided all of the judge’s questions, it was learned from a press release.

“They have come to recognize the facts. Jules Bonzenga was the collector of ivories during his poaching. He would have sought the services of Oscar Yogo, who put him in regular contact with foreign subjects. They are still in custody, pending the deliberations scheduled for November 24, 2016. These charges carry sentences of more than five years’ imprisonment,” said the final communiqué.

As a reminder, this wave of anti-wildlife crime crackdown in Congo is the result of collaboration between the National Gendarmerie, officers from the Ministry of Forest Economy, and those of the project to support the law enforcement of wildlife. Indeed, the elephants of the Republic of Congo are a fully protected species as required by Article 27 of Law 37-28 of November 28, 2008, on wildlife and protected areas.

Recall that, just after the arrest of the suspected traffickers on September 30, agents of the gendarmerie had promised to multiply their strategies to effectively fight against trafficking and poaching in the area. This added to the determined speech of the Minister of Justice, condemning acts of wildlife crime and especially corruption cases related to terrorism.