Ivory Traffickers Behind Bars (Togo)


République du Togo

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 volunteering her time to find these French articles and doing the online translating.


Three Togolese traffickers who tried to sell elephant tusks were arrested last week by the Central Office for Combating Illicit Drug Trafficking and Money Laundering (OCRTIDB), it was learned on Wednesday.

The input is modest—two tusks—but a significant traffic continues, with most ivory transits through Togo. In this case, the offenders indicated that the tusks were from the reserve Fazao-Malfakassa (central region). 
In 2013, the police had performed a catch of about 800 kg of ivory, and about 4 tons one year later.
The international ivory trade was banned in 1989 by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). But traffic has continued, representing a global market estimated at 10 billion dollars (7.4 billion euros) a year and threatening the species. Numbering ten million in 1900, the population of African elephants dropped to 1.2 million in 1990 and there are only some 500,000 today, according to environmentalists.
Between 22 and 25,000 are killed each year, more than 60 per day, and, according to CITES and other animal welfare organizations, 20 percent of African elephants could be extinct within a decade if poaching continues at its current pace.
To stop the massacre, 30 countries in Africa and Asia have agreed on an emergency plan at an international conference in Gaborone last year.