Groupe Congo Medias

Divine Nkouka,

April 11, 2018


The agents of the Departmental Directorate of Waters and Forests of the
Cuvette and the elements of the National Gendarmerie, thanks to the
information and support of the PALF (Wildlife Law Enforcement Support
Project) stopped on April 9, 2018, in Oyo, three alleged ivory traffickers
with eight ivory tusks of young elephants.

The defendants Dunel Germain Okele Doke, Droxy Koumou, and Guyvenchy Paya
would be part of a vast network of ivory traffickers well established in
the Department of Cuvette and Sangha?a network wherein the role of each of
them is well determined: hunter of elephants, ivory bearer, marketer.

These three defendants, all Congolese nationals arrested in Oyo, confessed
to bringing back the ivory tusks from Mossaka.

They used canoes on the Congo River and the Alima River to transport ivory
from Mossaka to Oyo. They hid this ivory in bags of foufou to deceive the
vigilance of the control services.

These three alleged wildlife traffickers have all acknowledged the facts
they are accused of: Detention and illegal movement of trophies of an
animal species fully protected, eight tusks of ivory representing four
elephants slaughtered.

They are also prosecuted for the presumption of slaughter of that species.
These three alleged wildlife offenders will appear this April 12, 2018 at
the High Court of Oyo. They face up to five (5) years imprisonment.

The elephant is threatened with extinction in many places in the Republic
of Congo because of poaching for its tusks. In the Sangha Department, for
example, several wildlife traffickers are regularly arrested, tried, and
convicted. Moreover, two hearings are scheduled on April 19, 2018 at the
High Court of Ouesso, during which seven (7) suspected ivory traffickers,
arrested on January 29, 2018 for some and February 26, 2018 for others,
will appear before the judges.

In the Republic of Congo, elephants are 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 fauna and
protected areas states: ?import; export; the possession and transit through
the national territory of fully protected species; as well as their
trophies are strictly forbidden; except special derogation of the Waters
and Forests Administration; for the purposes of scientific research?.

This news service is provided by Save the Elephants.