Three Ivory Traders Arrested in Owando (Republic of the Congo)
September 18, 2017
The elements of the national gendarmerie and forestry agents stopped in
Owando in the Cuvette on 14 September, thanks to information provided by
the Wildlife Enforcement Support Project (PALF), three alleged traffickers
of ivory tusks. These wildlife offenders risk up to five years in prison.
All persons who derogate from measures for the protection of animal species
in the Republic of the Congo shall be liable to penalties provided for by
law. It is in this context that the three presumed large ivory traffickers,
Leandre Ngassai, Daniel Kounga and Jacques Konga, all of Congolese
nationality, were arrested, in flagrante delicto detention, trafficking and
attempted illegal marketing of six ivory points weighing a total of 30 kg,
which can be estimated at more than three massacred elephants.
The arrest took place in Owando, the capital of La Cuvette, by the
officials of the departmental department of Eaux-et-For?t and the national
gendarmerie, thanks to the information and support of the PALF project.
These three defendants, whose age varies between 25 and 60 years, live
exclusively on ivory trafficking. One of these three defendants would be a
trader who circulates throughout the national territory to seek and buy
ivory from the poachers. Ivoires that the latter has the habit of resell
with his clientele. He would also be a sculptor of ivory objects.
The other two (father and son) would be suppliers of these products that
they would find after massacring elephants in the forests of the department
of the Cuvette. All three defendants have all acknowledged the facts
alleged against them. They incur penalties of up to five years’
Over the past 10 years, wildlife trafficking in the world has become more
organized, lucrative, globally widespread, and more dangerous than ever.
Wildlife trafficking has serious implications for the safety and prosperity
of people around the world.
A report published by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) states that
African forest elephants have declined by 62% in 10 years. The same report
adds that every 15 minutes, on average, an elephant is illegally shot down
on the African continent to feed an insatiable demand for ivory. The
illegal trade in wildlife products is leading to the extinction of wildlife
around the world by 2025.
In the Republic of Congo, the elephant is part of the fully protected
animal species, in accordance with Order No. 6075 / MDDEFE / CAB of 9 April
2011 determining fully and partially protected animal species.
In addition, Article 27 of Law 37/2008, of 28 November 2008 on wildlife and
protected areas stipulates: “import; export; the possession and transit
through the national territory of fully protected species; as well as their
trophies are strictly prohibited; unless special derogation from the
administration of water and forests; for the purposes of scientific
research”. If they are guilty, exemplary penalties should be imposed on
these alleged traffickers to condemn these acts severely, for a good
protection of biodiversity in general.
This news service is provided by Save the Elephants.