Wildlife law enforcement: the case of Franceville (The Mbida Rose case) (Gabon)


Khephren Fanga, GaboNews

Date Published
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Three of the four individuals who were arrested last April 24th in Franceville during a joint mission of the Provincial Directorate of Water and Forests in the Haut-Ogooué, National Police Forces with the support of the NGO Conservation Justice were finally sentenced Wednesday, May 21st to 1 year in imprisonment, fined 1 million FCFA and 15 million FCFA in damages ( 5 million each).


Let’s recall that Bouanga-Zobi Molongo Augustus, DJOCK Isaac, NDAM Abdou Ramani and Mrs. MBIDA MFOMO Rose were arrested for possession and distribution of trophies from fully protected species (1 ivory tusk, 2 panther skins) about one month ago. Ms. MBIDA was never summoned to court, since the day after her arrest, a prosecutor in Franceville had decided to release her despite all the evidence against her. She escapes this new sentence even though she is a repeat offender.

In addition to the charges related to the possession and sale of trophies from fully protected species, Bouanga-Zobi Molongo Augustus, DJOCK Isaac and NDAM Abdou Ramani have been banned from the country for 5 years due to lack of immigration card.

This is a strong and exemplary punishment given by judges who have shown here the necessary rigor and firmness for the application of the law, even though they failed to indict Rose MBIDA which had previously been acquitted by the floor.

At any time of the year, hunting, possession, transportation and marketing of fully protected species is prohibited. Failure to follow these rules may result in imprisonment of up to six months in prison and fines of up to ten million FCFA.