The ivory trade continues!
by Khephren Fanga
After numerous arrests inside the country, it is once again in Libreville that ivory traffickers were arrested.
On Tuesday 22nd January, an operation was carried out at the port by the Judicial Police and AALF project (Support to the Implementation of the Wildlife Act), a partnership between the Forestry and Conservation Justice. Two traffickers were arrested with two bags containing 18 ivory tusks totaling 176 kg! This confiscation is clearly a sad record in Libreville and reminds once again the seriousness of the ivory trade.
It is a large network that organizes the reception of ivory from across the country and transports it by boat to West Africa, namely Nigeria and Benin in this case . The boat is called Emiliana Carneiro and the two people arrested work for this company. One is Togolese and is store and luggage manager while the other is a native of Gabon and is the local representative of the company boat. They used their positions to organize various trades and in particular that of ivory.
Following the arrest, the boat was searched from top to bottom under the authority of the public prosecutor, Customs, Forestry, gendarmerie, police and park rangers of ANPN (Agence Nationale des Parcs nationals). They foune some shark fins and meat in a boat that is surely used for all kind traffic.
Once the ivory is transported to West Africa, trafficking networks have an easier time to carve on site or send it directly to Asia from Calabar in Nigeria, Cotonou, Benin or Lomé in Togo.
The ivory trade is very lucrative because costs always prove to be charged higher. In some countries these costs are much higher than in Gabon. This is why many foreigners illegally transporting these products to those locations, the largest of which is ultimately China.
The accused will be held accountable for their actions in court and risk large fines and prison sentences. They must be transferred to the court on Friday 25 January and will be judged for their actions.