Vision Guine

Fatou Kourouma
October 24, 2018

 

Mr. Amadou Dia, a state official and head of the Wildlife Division at the
National Water Authority was questioned on Monday, October 22, 2018 by the
DPJ and the Interpol office with the support of GALF (Guinea Fauna Law
Enforcement).

Incarcerated today, he was the subject of a warrant issued by the Court of
First Instance (TPI) Mamou and would be involved in a scandalous case of
wildlife crime.

According to our information, the story goes back to last September when
Mr. Mohamed Camara was arrested on September 20, 2018 in a mysterious
hunting reserve located in Sabouya in Mamou prefecture with protected
animal trophies in this case bongos, buffalo and others.

In addition to these trophies, highly sophisticated professional hunting
firearms were also seized from this reserve by agents of the gendarmerie,
the Guinean Parks and Reserves Office with the support of GALF.

He will be taken to Mamou to be heard by the Prosecutor, who will
eventually direct the case to trial. This hunting reserve, established
secretly, was not known to the competent authorities and the international
community which is active in the field.

In front of the prosecutor’s office of the Mamou Tribunal, Mr. Camara
denounced a Spanish national named Carlos Corces i Bustamante as the owner
of the Reserve and arms, mentioning that he is only his employee. It was as
a result of this denunciation that a warrant was issued by the
investigating judge in charge of the case against Carlos Corces, who was
arrested on September 22, 2018 in Room on the Loos Islands.

He will be taken to Mamou and put under arrest warrant by the judge, to
conduct investigations and better analyze this highly sensitive issue
involving some officials accomplices within the state.

Carlos Corces has been charged with illegal possession of firearms,
slaughter of protected animal species, possession and circulation of
trophies of fully protected species.

It was during the investigation that the judge in charge of the case
finally issued a warrant to bring against Mr. Mamadou Dia, head of Wildlife
Division at the National Directorate of Water and Forests.

He is suspected of being the signatory of the lease and lease of the
reserve giving authorization to Carlos Corces to organize hunting safaris
in this reserve with foreign customers, professional hunters, who came
regularly and for years to to slaughter fully protected animal species in
violation of national law and also of the CITES Convention.

According to our sources, an area of 25,000 hectares was unevenly leased in
2016 to make it a hunting reserve in a remote region of the country, very
rich in wildlife, where Carlos Corces organized hunting expeditions for
hunters to trophies from around the world, American, Russian, European,
without respecting the rules.

It seems that since 2005, Corces was hunting irregularly on this territory.

Worse, say the same sources, the game reserve was established with the
complicity of some senior officers, well hidden from the spotlight of the
high authorities, who did not know it existed.

He and his clients illegally hunted elephants, bongos, hippopotamuses,
leopards and other species fully protected by Guinean law, sometimes even
using cruel methods such as bows and arrows.

Although elephant hunting is totally forbidden in Guinea, Carlos Corces
openly advertised on American websites like “Book your Hunt” dedicated to
trophy hunting to promote his elephant hunts on the reserve, and he posted
on these sites a price of 5000 dollars to shoot an elephant, 3000 dollars
for a panther, 5000 dollars to shoot a bongo, 1800 dollars for a
hippopotamus while these species are all fully protected by Guinean law.

These customers also had to pay a price of $ 2,500 to obtain a special
license for the slaughter of elephant, hyppo and panther, licenses that he
did not have jurisdiction to issue. He also proposed a multitude of other
partially protected species.

Mr. Dia is complicit in the slaughter of these endangered species protected
by law.

Carlos would have paid Mr. Dia a quarterly amount of money each year for
this fraudulent lease agreement. It will be up to him to bring the evidence
to his defense before the judge. In the meantime, he was placed under a
committal order and detained in Mamou Central Prison.

For the record, Guinea is presented as a hub for international wildlife
trafficking and is still under sanction by the International Convention on
Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Indeed, the former head of CITES in Guinea, Ansoumane Doumbouya, corrupt
authority in the Ministry of Environment, was arrested in 2015 and
sentenced to 18 months in prison for his complicity with international
networks of traffickers to whom he had issued CITES permits for years for
money to export protected species.

More than 130 great apes, chimpanzees, gorillas and bonobos, and thousands
of other animals had been illegally exported with fraudulent permits issued
by A. Doumbouya.

This is the second time that a senior environmental official has been
arrested for such acts, and it is to be hoped that the sanction imposed by
Justice will be exemplary.

It must be remembered that cash trafficking is a transnational organized
crime. It is the fifth largest illegal trade in the world amassing more
than $ 20 billion each year.

http://www.visionguinee.info/2018/10/24/un-haut-cadre-des-eaux-et-forets-mis-aux-arrets-et-incarcere-a-mamou/