June 13, 2018
Four tusks of ivory: these are the objects found in the hands of six
suspected traffickers of wildlife products. They were arrested in Cotonou
on the evening of Monday, June 11, 2018, in an operation conducted jointly
by the Judicial Police and the Directorate of Water and Forests.
They were caught in the criminal offense of marketing four tusks from at
least two slaughtered elephants.
The package reveals that the ivory seized weighs 6 kilograms. Probably a
success of the police who come to implement the new strategy of grid of the
ground which aims, in reality, to put out of state of harm to the
traffickers of the products of fauna.
It should be noted that the government that has always been working for the
protection of Benin’s wildlife heritage with the support and technical
support of the Support to the Application of Laws on Fauna and Flora
(AALF-Benin) program, again with this arrest, shows its determination to
block the path of wildlife destroyers and protect endangered wildlife.
It is highly expected that other structures involved in wildlife protection
and law enforcement will also roll up their sleeves and play their part.
These suspected traffickers must be well punished as soon as their guilt is
proven. Moreover, following this arrest, the people must realize that the
elephant is an entirely protected species and it is prohibited to circulate
and market its parts.
In fact, according to Article 153 of Law No. 2002-16 of 18 October 2004 on
the wildlife regime in the Republic of Benin and its implementing text,
“any person who circulates trophies or remains without certificate of
origin, is punishable by a fine of 100,000 to 500,000 francs and / or
imprisonment from 3 months to 3 years.”
Article 154 of the same law reprimands a fine of 300,000 to 800,000 francs
and / or imprisonment of 6 months to 5 years anyone who imports, exports,
re-exports or markets wild animals or their trophies and remains outside
allowed cases. These six alleged traffickers fall under sections 153 and
154 and will certainly suffer the rigors of the law. Article 166 states
that accomplices are punished as the main perpetrators and sentenced
jointly and severally to fines, damages, and restitutions.