Gabon: 5 people arrested in an ivory trafficking case in Ovan
October 17, 2017
In Ovan, in the department of Mvoung (province of Ogooue-Ivindo), five
people were arrested this Saturday, October 14, with thirty kilograms of
ivory. Namely Jessy M Andry, newly assigned to Boou? as a teacher, E.
Blaise, N. Thiery all of Gabonese nationality and Mr. Achilles, a
Cameroonian subject, and A Toure, a Malian trader.
They were arrested in possession of two (02) tusks of ivory sectioned into
six (06) pieces when they were about to sell them to a hotel. These two
ivory tusks average 34 kg.
Teacher Andry Jessy says he shot the elephant two weeks ago. The role of
everyone in this ivory trafficking network is to be highlighted.
All the offenders were taken into custody in the PJ jails, waiting to be
heard and then presented to the public prosecutor who will decide whether
or not to detain them. They then face prison sentences as is often the case
in this kind of lucrative traffic.
The number of elephants is falling in Ogoou-Ivindo and Woleu-Ntem; more
than 20,000 have been killed the last ten years. And elephants slaughtered
in the depths of the forest, especially from Cameroon, are often forced to
approach the southern villages, caught in a pincer movement. This
highlights the conflicts between people and elephants.
Recent articles in English newspapers, The Mirror, and Independent
mention that native ivory of Gabon also finances terrorist activities,
including Boko Haram, in other countries. These facts have been confirmed
by the national agency of national parks.(KS: But this link is unproven and most conservationists beyond those beholden to the Gabon government do not believe there is any evidence of Boko Haram involvement.)
With the ivory trade reaping profits and strong cash flows, it is
understandable that it could interest and be linked to other types of
crime. The links between ivory trade and security problems are many and
have been identified in many countries.