In six weeks the fight against wildlife crime: Ten suspected traffickers arrested with 31 kg of ivory (Benin)


Date Published
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.

Between October 3 and November 11, 2016, public security forces and specialized structures in the fight against wildlife crime proved their determination to curb the trade in ivory. A total of ten suspected traffickers were arrested in six weeks with 31 kg of ivory. All these arrests would not have been effective without the cooperation of the support program to the implementation of laws on wildlife (Aalf-Benin).

The catch started from a hotel in the zone of Red Star in Cotonou on Monday, October 3. Three traffickers were stopped with 12.3 kg of ivory, that is to say more than three tusks of ivory coming from the parks. Saturday the 22nd of the same month, the territorial brigade of Kandi, in close collaboration with the Management of the Park W, arrested two alleged traffickers with two tusks of 3.2 kg of ivory. Five days later (Thursday, October 27th), was the third arrest of the month.

The elements of the police and Aplahoué Azovè got their hands on three alleged traffickers with 2 kg of ivory at Aplahoué. On November 11, 2016, in Porga, near the Benin-Burkinabé border, an operation piloted by the police station of Natitingou made it possible to arrest another two suspected traffickers with two big tusks of 13.5 kg.

The loot confiscated from traffickers after these four operations are proof that six elephants were slaughtered and their tusks taken. At the rate things are going, natural resources are likely to be exterminated if nothing is done. Law No. 2002-16 of 18 October 2004 pertaining to wildlife regime in Benin prohibits trafficking in ivory. Sanctions apply when the guilt of the alleged traffickers is established. This is a fine of 100,000 CFA francs and 800,000 CFA francs and imprisonment from three months to five years. Government, public security forces, and specialized structures play their roles. It is necessary that justice plays by his truly dissuasive decisions.