Gabon Initiatives

Fabrice Mikomba,
June 9, 2018

MITZIC: Mitzic maintains its reputation as an ivory trafficking center in
the Woleu-Ntem province in northern Gabon, with this new arrest being
carried out by the local brigade center — of a forty-year-old Gabonian who
the law will certainly not save.

Ekazama Jean-Francois did not escape the elements of the Brigade Center
Mitzic after an operation that allowed them to get their hands on ivory, a
product for which, when he is detained, leads to prison for six months.

According to sources close to the case, everything happened on Tuesday,
June 5, 2018.

Information about an ivory transaction in a district of the capital of the
Okano department reached the elements of the Gendarmerie Center.

To verify and confirm this, elements of the brigade associated with
Conservation Justice officers and Water and Forensic Officers were formed,
to go to the location indicated by the information.

After several minutes of research, Sieur Ekazama was surprised with his
booty spread on the ground, counting the parts that he must deliver to his
buyer: in the end, four tusks and two pieces of ivory. It is in this
position that he was questioned.

Initial evidence indicates that Ekazama Jean-Francois had left Mbomao, a
large village in the neighboring province of Ogooue-Ivindo.

How was he able to cross the various checkpoints that separate the two
localities? Obviously, he had carefully packed his booty in a travel bag.

Conducted in the premises of the Gendarmerie Center Mitzic to be heard on
the facts alleged against him, Jean-Francois Ekazama will be presented
before the Prosecutor of the Republic of Oyem to answer the facts of
transport, detention and marketing of trophies of an entirely protected
species.

He faces up to siz months in prison for violating the provisions of
Articles 92, 274 and 275 of the Forest Code, a sentence unfortunately not
dissuasive, according to environmental advocates who find that neighboring
countries engaged in the same way as Gabon on the international scene
impose several years poachers and trafficking of species fully protected
and threatened with extinction.