Trafficking in Wildlife Products: An Alleged Ivory Trafficking at Brazzaville (Republic of the Congo)


Groupe Congo Medias

Date Published

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

See link for photo. 

An individual was arrested by the Eaux et Forets agents in synergy with the police, on October 11 in Brazzaville following the discovery, at the Mbouambe-Lefini checkpoint, of a cooler containing five pieces of ivory and three (03) elephant tails in a vehicle from Makoua in the Cuvette Department.

This individual, in his forties, is said to be part of a network of suspected ivory tusk traffickers. Indeed, the sender of these ivory tusks and elephant tails would be in Makoua and he would have entrusted this package to the driver to be transported to Brazzaville where his recipient was  waiting for him. Traffic stopped thanks to a routine check of the Water and Forests elements at their Mbouambe-Lefini post on the National Road n ? 2 in the Department of Pool.

Upon discovering these wildlife products, these Water and Forestry agents, not having found the owner of these contraband in the vehicle, boarded the same bus with this cooler.

Arriving at the bus station Mikalou in the 6th district of Brazzaville and the descent of the cooler, the recipient approached with the intention to receive the parcel. Thus, the elements of Eaux et Forets, accompanied by those of the police got hold of the individual. The sender and the other members of this network are still on the run. Informed, the PALF (Support Project for the Application of the Law on Wildlife) provides legal support in this case.    

This defendant was referred this Thursday, October 21 to the Brazzaville remand center where he will appear before the Tribunal de Grande Instance. He is accused of complicity in the possession and circulation of said products, namely five pieces of ivory and three (03) tails of this species, representing three slaughtered elephants. He incurs heavy penalties ranging from two to five years imprisonment and a fine of up to 5,000,000 FCFA in accordance with the law. All eyes will therefore be on justice to severely condemn these acts, for a good cause, that of protecting biodiversity.

Adjutant Gael MABOUNDOU, Mbouambe-Lefini (Water and Forest) station chief declared: “to the population I want to tell them that we should stay together in order to denounce these kinds of acts, because killing an animal that is fully protected and marketing your trophies for personal gain is like a crime.” 

In recent years, wildlife trafficking has become more organized, more lucrative and more dangerous, and has grown globally along with drug trafficking. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature declared on March 25, the African elephant of the savannahs “endangered” and the African elephant of the forests “critically endangered.”

Forest elephants could disappear from Central Africa by 2025 due to poaching and deforestation. The illegal trade in wildlife products is leading to the extinction of wildlife species around the world.    

Aware of this fact, the Congo is committed to protecting its endangered animal species and remains vigilant. It punishes all those who obstruct the law on the protection of wildlife. In this sense, a great deal of work is regularly done by the authorities. Acts committed by alleged wildlife offenders cannot go unpunished.